This is the election season 2019. The 17th General Election to the Lok Sabha in ongoing, and all political parties are promising the moon in their manifestos.
Election in a democracy is also the time for Citizens to reclaim politics. After all politics is about people, and in a democracy it is the Citizens who are the sovereign.
This is an attempt to draft a citizens’ manifesto on one of the most critical issues of today, the agrarian crisis. It may be the issue that decides the outcome of the election, and shape of the next government.
We would like to have the Farmers’ Manifesto in a few more languages in order to reach out widely, please let us know if you could help.
Bridging भारत and India
Tied by Laws
The thrust of this Farmers’ Manifesto for Freedom is that our farmers have been increasingly stifled by laws and regulations. India cannot progress and prosper so long as her farmers are denied the freedom to grow.
Agriculture is India’s largest private sector. Yet, despite the initiation of economic liberalisation in 1991, agriculture has been largely ignored. There has been almost no recognition of the need to improve the “doing business” environment of the farmers!
The four elements of Freedom
- Why: Enslaved by laws, Nyaybandi
- What: Unlock the wealth of assets, Dhan Mukti
- How: Limit the state by returning public assets to the people, Dhan Vapsi
- Who: We the People, the sovereign citizen of India
This is a framework that could potentially unite भारत and India.
For more information, please read the Farmers’ Manifesto for Freedom.
Acknowledging Sharad Joshi
This Manifesto has been drafted with inputs of more than a dozen people, farmers and non-farmers, activists and academics. Many of them have high regard for the late Shri Sharad Joshi, the visionary farmers leader who passed away in 2015. Shri Joshi was among the first to recognise in the 1980s, that Indian farmers are being pauperised by severe restrictions on every aspect of agriculture, all in the name of welfare of the poor and protection of the farmers.
Stimulate a discussion
This Manifesto seeks to stimulate a wider discussion on a critical issue of agrarian distress. At stake is not just the future of our farmers but the freedom and prosperity of India, much beyond the current election.
A context of the Farmers’ Manifesto is also provided in this article, in The Hindu newspapers, ‘A Rural Agenda‘, April 27, 2019.
A manifesto is not a perfect document, but it is a reflection of its time. One need not agree 100% to everything in manifesto. But if you recognise and relate with the broad thrust of the document, please do consider endorsing the Manifesto.
Find out who all those have endorsed the manifesto so far.
To endorse this Farmers’ Manifesto, please register to add your name, along with a brief description of yourself and your location. Please Register to Endorse.
Spread the Word
We would greatly appreciate if you could help spread the word on social media. (#FarmersManifesto2019, #FarmersManifesto, #FreedomManifesto, FarmersFreedom).
We need your help in reaching out to 900 million voters!
Election is the best time for Citizens to reclaim their sovereignty, and make their voices heard. Your inputs would greatly help, when an attempt is made to update the Manifesto 6-8 months later. Comments and suggestions are most welcome.