I saw the remarkable Com. Kamli Bahota at yesterday’s massive Kisan Parishad organised by the All India Kisan Sabha.
I had written on her for the People’s Archive of Rural India, here: https://ruralindiaonline.org/articles/the-unending-struggle-of-kamli-bahota
She had marched to Mumbai along with 40,000 farmers. The administration had panicked and the CM’s emissary had agreed to all their demands, unreservedly, in writing. I had met her at a follow-up rally in Dahanu. She had told me then — very militantly — if the government does not stand true to its promises, we will march to Delhi.
And she will. She is among those militant farmers of the Kisan Sabha to whose fearless struggles we owe “The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006” [Read here to understand the law: https://ruralindiaonline.org/resources/the-scheduled-tribes-and-other-traditional-forest-dwellers-recognition-of-forest-rights-act-2006/]
They have made Indian constitutional democracy work for decades. They are doing it again.
We must never forget that these are the people who ultimately make the Indian constitutional democracy work. They march to parliament, take to streets, brave the police batons and bullets. They literally force governments to pass laws that extend constitutional freedoms. There are millions of Kamli Bahota’s in this country. And to them, we owe our constitutional freedoms.
There is going to be a march to Parliament on 29th and 30th Nov, 2018. Farmers from across the country are going to march to Parliament to demand a special session of Parliament dedicated to the farming crisis.
I asked Kamli Bahuta – will you be going to Delhi? She raised her eyebrows and said — Of course!
Just as she had promised.