How Demonetisation Intensified Farmers’ Misery and Triggered Protests


Amid the latest farmers’ agitation in Madhya Pradesh, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan sat on an indefinite quick for the “restoration of peace”. The quick lasted a day. In the meantime, aggrieved households of the 5 farmers who had been shot useless by the police through the protests pointed fingers on the state authorities for the deaths. By all of this, the situation of farmers within the state remained unchanged. Not one of the points that led to the protest have been resolved, together with poor remunerative costs for crops, a chaotic system of buy and a wrecked rural economic system within the wake of demonetisation.

Speaking to villagers, there’s a close to consensus on one factor – demonetisation has badly harm the farming group. Whereas grieving the deaths of the farmers, their relations confer with demonetisation as one of many points behind farmer misery.

Most farmers in Madhya Pradesh are deep in debt, and their issues are solely mounting. The sudden change in financial coverage introduced upon by the Centre throughout the previous few months has made life troublesome for them.

“Ever since demonetisation was introduced, farmers are in misery,” says Ujjain district panchayat vp Bharat Porwal. “Nobody is able to lend them even Rs 1000. Earlier within the village, cash was with the dealer or lender. If somebody wanted a mortgage, they might go to the lender and borrow it. Immediately, even the lender doesn’t have cash. What would he lend? Those that had at the same time as a lot as Rs 50,000 or Rs 1 lakh had been declared thieves. Those that have Rs 2 lakh or extra are actually responsible for earnings tax. Demonetisation has destroyed the agricultural market and rural economic system. Neither banks nor ATMs have money. They’re solely fooling us,” he advised The Wire.

Protesting farmers in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh threw away grains and spilt milk on the highway through the ten-day agitation. In Mandsaur, the police fired pictures into the group, ensuing within the dying of 5 farmers. Inside two weeks of the incident, 15 farmers reportedly dedicated suicide.

Regardless of farmers citing demonetisation as one of many chief causes for his or her misery and protests, the federal government remains to be projecting it as a wonderful transfer.

In Mandsaur’s Lodh village, farmer Mangilal’s eldest son Satyanarayan was one of many victims of police firing. At his home, a village native Dhanraj tells us, “Farmers had organised the protest as a result of they don’t seem to be getting the fitting value for his or her produce. Additionally, funds are being made by cheques and never in money. If somebody doesn’t have an account, how will he money it? The method takes weeks. Earlier, the funds had been made in money. Ever for the reason that new forex has been launched, farmers are hit the toughest. We wait months to get our cash.”

Talking of the issues demonetisation has induced, Dhanraj says, “One of many maize farmers right here needed to wait eight months for fee after he bought the crop. He needed to make a number of visits to the dealer. Those that have an account in metropolis banks have some respite. However in rural banks it takes numerous time for cash to reach.”

In accordance with one other villager, Ramchandra, “Farmers already had a variety of issues, however after demonetisation they elevated manifold. Costs had been already low – and even these had been not paid. The small accounts maintained by farmers are all the time working wanting funds. We don’t know the explanation behind it, however money is hardly there.”

“For example, if a small farmer goes to promote one or two sacks of grain or soyabean, he might be paid by cheque,” provides Dhanraj. “However he wants the money that day itself. What is going to he do? He survives by promoting his produce however he can not do it. He wants cash and as an alternative he’s handed a cheque. How will he handle?”

Does this imply that demonetisation has damaged the agricultural economic system? “Completely,” says Ramchandra. “To go to the market to promote one sack of grain takes up a farmer’s total day. The subsequent day he has to queue up in entrance of the financial institution to deposit the cheque. Every week or extra later he has to line up once more to withdraw the cash. The cheque is for Rs 1,000 however what he’s spending on all these rounds made to the market and the financial institution prices as a lot. In the entire course of, did he earn something? It ruins him. It shouldn’t be so.”

“A small farmer or labourer can not afford to spend that a lot money and time on making rounds to banks,” he provides.

“4 journeys to the town and again value Rs 500,” says Dhanraj. “If the produce is bought for Rs 1,000, half of it’s spent on conveyance. Plus the lack of work for that day. So the cash he lastly will get might be ineffective.”

In Mandsaur’s Badwan village, Ghanshyam was amongst those that had been injured within the police lathicharge. His relations declare that the police thrashed him so brutally that his fingers and legs had been fractured. He later succumbed to his accidents.

A village native, Karu Lal, tells The Wire, “Demonetisation has introduced this upon farmers. It has taken a toll on many. When the poor farmer goes to promote his produce, his cash is deposited within the financial institution with the federal government and he doesn’t get it for months. Farmers are helpless. This agitation is going down out of desperation. For months, cheques usually are not getting cleared. Farmers are bored with making journeys to banks.”

“Whether or not it’s Rs 500 or Rs 5,000, all funds are first deposited with the federal government after which handed to us,” provides one other villager. “We do the labour and the cash is deposited with them. What sort of governance is that this? It’s all due to demonetisation. It has shaken all the nation – and the farmers too.”

“Demonetisation has affected the poor and farmers probably the most, however the authorities will not be prepared to simply accept this,” says Karu Lal. “Farmers are nonetheless reeling underneath its results. Now the merchants available in the market are even deducting cash, which was not the case earlier. If we bought Rs 1 lakh price of produce, the fee was immediate and in money. Now, even for Rs 2,000 they’re handing cheques. We’ve to spend from our personal pockets to get that cash. The individuals at banks additionally give us a tough time. Whereas the merchants and bankers conspire, farmers are on the receiving finish.”

After the chief minister ended his quick, he introduced that merchants will make half the fee to farmers in money and the remainder by cheque. He added that any dealer going towards this order might be despatched to jail. This led to a strike from merchants, who claimed that in the event that they handed out money funds they are going to be focused by the earnings tax division. Following this, the chief minister withdrew his orders and introduced that solely Rs 10,000 might be paid in money.

The agricultural economic system is an outdated and established system that is open to credit score, barter and money. By imposing the banking system upon farmers with restricted capital, the federal government has unleashed a mammoth drawback. The federal government treats farmers like capitalists, even when meaning placing their lives at stake.

Up to now, 35 farmers have dedicated suicide throughout the nation since June 1. The query then stays is, will the federal government do something in any respect for farmer in order that they not should kill them due to money owed and poverty?

How Demonetisation Intensified Farmers’ Misery and Triggered Protests

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