Temperatures are rising, and so is Hindutva hate. Rainfall is drying up, and so is employment. The people are losing to the corporates and ruling classes on every front, except one: the farmers’ movement of 2020–21 managed to push them back. The anti-people farm laws passed in September 2020 were repealed in November 2021. The Journey of the Farmers’ Rebellion explores, by the medium of interviews, what caused this historic retreat. And it does so through the standpoint of those who were right in the middle of the struggle and those who stood in unwavering solidarity with it.
The repeal of the three farm laws was achieved by an unprecedented unity of the coalition of 32 farmer unions in the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) along with others. They mobilised lakhs of farmers to surround Delhi and not give in until their demands were met. Interviews with leaders of the most important and radical farmer unions in this book show how this unity was achieved in the face of sustained state repression and distortion of the movement through powerful biased media houses. They also explore the socio-economic conditions that led to this awe-inspiring mobilisation.
Workers’ Unity (WU) is a news outlet that reports on working class movements in various parts of the country, from Bangalore to Rajasthan to Punjab and Delhi. They go to demonstrations, protests, and events wherever they’re happening, and interview common people and leaders about the problems they’re facing and why they’re out in the streets.
While these topics may seem remote from the usual concerns of NotA, they are not. We cannot reform the academy while ignoring the outside world. Political struggle inside the academy cannot happen without alliance with political struggle in society, as they explain in the final section of this interview.
NotA: Could you please introduce our readers to Workers’ Unity (WU)? What does your work involve and what are your aims etc?
The fascist BJP government has finally given in and agreed to repeal the three anti-people farm laws.1 We at NotA bow our heads in admiration to all the farmers, agricultural labourers, and other activists who have come together over the past year to keep this historic protest going and deal the first major defeat to the BJP since 2014. We hope that this victory2 gives the broader anti-fascist movement (including not only the farmers’ protests but also other movements like the anti-CAA protests, migrant workers protests and the adviasis’ anti-mining protests) in the country even more energy and leads to the downfall of both Hindu fascism and the anti-people “development” agenda it is supporting. The war is far from over, but this battle has been won.