India- Farmers Strike in Maharashtra

  • The farmers have taken a direct and clear stand that the three new agricultural laws brought by the central government should be repealed.
  • Farmers in Punjab and Haryana have a history of standing up for their rights.
  • Seeing the determination of these farmers from Punjab-Haryana for six months of agitation, many are curious.

It is freezing cold in Delhi at present. The mercury has dropped below 10 degrees. However, farmers in Punjab and Haryana have settled down on the border of the country’s capital without even a shred of cold. These farmers, who have been preparing for the agitation for six months, are not ready to back down even an inch after three weeks.

Maharashtra farmers’ protest.

The farmers have taken a direct and clear stand that the three new agricultural laws brought by the central government should be repealed. Seeing the determination of these farmers from Punjab and Haryana for six months of agitation, many are curious.

But if anyone tells you that there was a farmers’ strike in Maharashtra that lasted for 6 years, not a single farmer planted anything in the field for 6 years, resulting in starvation. But these farmers had insisted on their role for 6 years! You may be surprised to read this, but it is true.

This decision of the farmers of Maharashtra, which is recorded in the history of the world’s farmers, is known as ‘Charicha Shetkari Samp.’ These farmers had gathered with great courage against the Khoti system in Konkan.

The strike took place about 90 years ago in the agricultural rural belt of Chari near Alibag in Raigad district. This strike brought about many important changes in Maharashtra.

Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar had also publicly supported the strike. In fact, the seeds of Babasaheb’s independent labor party have also fallen on deaf ears. The strike was led by Narayan Nagu Patil, a farmer-labor leader. And due to this strike, clan law was later implemented in Maharashtra.

What Is the Khoti Method?

Khot means big landlord. Khoti has been a government land since the time of Peshwas. The main task was to collect government money and collect it from the government court. The village where Khot was located was known as ‘Khoti Gaon’.

Chari Shetkari strike scholar and former editor of Krishiwal daily S. M. Deshmukh says, “The Khots, considering themselves to be the government, looted the poor clans. After a year, the food grains used to fall under the control of the Khots. Not only that, the Khots used to take over the clans.”

A clan is a person who cultivates another’s land or works hard on that land.

Deshmukh says: “The vegetables in the clan farm were owned by the Khots. If the clan planted a mango, coconut, or chanterelle tree in the field, the Khots had the right to the fruits of the trees. It was an unwritten agreement. The farm laborers, the clansmen were doing all the private work and cultivating the land. ”

Maharashtra farmers’

“The clan did not recover properly, but on occasion, the entire family was treated as slaves. Such an inhumane practice was applied in Konkan,” said S. M. Deshmukh.

This practice has been widely opposed since the last decade of the nineteenth century. Sometimes in Khed taluka of Ratnagiri, sometimes in Pen taluka of Raigad. But at that point, the protest was crushed.

Similar small and large strikes took place in Raigad from 1921 to 1923 against the Khotas. However, Narayan Nagu Patil was watching all these developments and after that, thinking of raising his voice for this, Narayan Nagu Patil started visiting the farmers.

The Konkan Province Farmers’ Union was finally formed in 1927 to oppose the Khotas. Bhai Anant Chitre was the secretary of this team. The Konkan Province Farmers’ Union staged a rally in the Raigad-Ratnagiri district against the Khoti system.

Attempts were also made to disrupt their meetings. Narayan Nagu Patil and Bhai Anant Chitre were also banned from speaking. However, the response from farmers continued to grow.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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