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Farmers & Workers to Unite for Historic Rally Demanding Material Rights on April 5th in New Delhi

Thousands of Indian agricultural, industrial, and farming workers and farmers are traveling to Delhi for a rally organized by the All India Agriculture Workers Union, Center of Indian Trade Unions, and the All India Kisan Sabha, with support from 300 academics, writers, journalists, and veterans of the armed forces. The rally is supposed to start on April 5th in New Delhi.

Eashani Chettri
About 300 academics, actors, writers, journalists, and veterans of the armed forces vowed their support for the farmer's protest
About 300 academics, actors, writers, journalists, and veterans of the armed forces vowed their support for the farmer's protest

About 300 academics, actors, writers, journalists, and veterans of the armed forces vowed their support for the protest as thousands of agricultural, industrial, and farming workers and farmers began traveling to Delhi for a rally on Wednesday at the request of the All-India Agriculture Workers Union (AIAWU), the Center of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), and the All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS).

The government was allegedly "blindly pushing forward with its discredited policy of providing gifts to the corporates by cutting corporate taxes, selling off public sector assets at throwaway prices, dismantling protective labor laws, writing off huge corporate loans, and inviting predatory foreign capital into the country's key and strategic industries previously reserved for the public sector," according to the critics. They said, "Corruption has crept into every aspect of social life."

Eminent economist and one of the rally's organizers Prabhat Patnaik said that gathering agricultural laborers, factory workers, and peasants made the march possible. "Our society is made up of these three essential, basic classes. As a result, their meeting is a matter of historic importance. The center has used religious communalism as a tool to divide the oppressed while providing monetary benefit to the wealthy.

These three downtrodden classes are uniting to demand their material rights, which would reverse the narrative that the forces of Hindutva have been using to portray them, according to Professor Patnaik.

He responded that the goal of such protests was not "necessarily merely for votes" when questioned why they were not assisting the opposition electorally. It is to unite these classes in order to protect their material interests and stop the neoliberal policies of this neo-fascist regime from forcing them into poverty. Whether or not this will have an electoral impact is largely irrelevant.

The shift in language is significant, he continued, adding that any political repercussions from such a rally would take time to manifest. He pointed out the centre's resistance to passing legislation to assure minimum support price and declared, "The BJP is dedicated to an agenda which is against the interest of workers and peasants."

Eminent academics, poets, writers, literary critics, lawyers, scientists, painters, actors, filmmakers, journalists, and others from a variety of professions and regions of the country have all signed the appeal to support the rally. Apart from Prof. Patnaik, prominent names in the list of signatories are Irfan Habib, Sumit Sarkar, N.Ram, Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, Manoranjan Mohanty, K.M. Shrimali, Utsa Patnaik, K. Satchidanandan, P. Sainath, Jayati Ghosh, C.P. Chandrasekhar, Harsh Mander, Admiral L. Ramdas, Teesta Setalvad, Anand Patwardhan, Saeed Mirza, Shaji N. Karun, and Sashi Kumar.

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