The monolithic army of Red ants comprising nearly 40,000 sunburnt and toiling men and women farmers long with landless tribals have entered the 7th successive day in Mumbai on Monday, March 12, with a quest of innumerable demands, which includes loan waiver, and implementation of Forest Right Act. The ongoing farmers’ protest which is led by All India Kisan Sabha has prompted the Davendra Fadnavis led-Maharashtra government to appoint a 6 members committee in order to look into the demands of farmers. The farmers will protest today, March 12, outside the state Assembly.
As the state has witnessed a double-digital negative growth in the farm sector, the decision to appoint the committee was made during a high-level meeting held at Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ residence, as per Chief minister’s officers’ source. The committee will be compromised Maharashtra Minister Chandrakant Patil, Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar, Irrigation Minister Girish Mahajan, Tribal Development Minister Vishnu Savara, state cooperatives minister Subhash Deshmukh and Shiv Sena leader and PWD Minister Eknath Shinde.
On Sunday, Shiv Sena’s Aditya Thackeray interacted with the farmers protesting in Mumbai. Other leaders of the Opposition parties have also expressed their support to the farmers. Their demand did not concentrate just on loan waiver, but also the implementation of Swaminathan Committee report, which says the farmers should be paid one and a half times the cost of production for what they make/produce, and the MSP (Minimum Support Price) should be fixed. The Long march also witnessed excessive participation landless tribals from Kalwan, Sargana and Dindori in Nashik, Talasari, Mokhada and Jawhar in Palghar and other areas.
The Tribals are not seeking loan waiver but the implementation of Forest Rights Act, 2006. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 is a major piece of forest legislation which was passed in India in December 2006, famously known as Forest Rights Act, the Tribal Rights Act, the Tribal Bill, and the Tribal Land Act. The law deals with the rights of forest-residing communities to land and other resources, denied to them for several decades.