South Asian Insider
Farmers' protest: Youth Congress collects soil for India's map as a tribute
During the campaign from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the soil will be collected, especially from villages and home towns of the 65 farmers, who have lost their lives during the agitation (News Agencies)- The Youth Congress is collecting soil from across the country to draw a map of India as a mark of respect to those, who have lost their lives in the ongoing farmers' agitation against the three farm laws enacted in September. Launched on January 9, the nationwide campaign titled Ek Mutthi Mitti Shaheedon Ke Naam is expected to conclude in Delhi within a month, Youth Congress president Srinivas BV said. He said the campaign is inspired by the historic Dandi March of Mahatma Gandhi against the British salt monopoly. Thousands of farmers, mainly from northern India, have camped on the borders of Delhi since November 26 to protest against the laws they say will weaken their bargaining power and leave them at the mercy of powerful agribusinesses. "Over 65 farmers have lost their lives at Delhi borders since past 50 days agitating in a peaceful and democratic manner. They are braving extreme weather conditions and have remained undeterred by the excessive force used by the central government against them," said Srinivas BV. During the campaign from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the soil will be collected, especially from villages and home towns of the 65 farmers, who have lost their lives during the agitation. Srinivas BV visited Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh last week to collect the soil. "With that soil, we will create a map of India, the one built on the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and sacrifices made by martyrs who laid their lives during the freedom struggle of India," said Krishna Allavaru, the national in-charge of the Youth Congress.Srinivas BV has organised health, blood donation campaigns and provided food and medicines to the protesting farmers at different places along Delhi's borders with Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.The Congress has also announced countrywide protests on January 15 against the three farm laws. A delegation of Congress leaders, led by former party chief Rahul Gandhi, on December 24 met President Ram Nath Kovind to demand a special Parliament session to repeal the laws.The Congress-ruled states have also passed bills bypassing the central laws that allow agribusinesses to trade with minimal regulation, permit traders to stockpile large quantities of food commodities for scale, and lay down new contract farming rules.
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