India - 12th March 2018 will be remembered as red-letter day in the history of farmers’ movement in Maharashtra. At the dawn of this day, a red sea of more than 50,000 farmers, laborers, and indigenous people arrived in Mumbai with blistered feet, swollen knees, and bleeding soles from a 200-kilometer walk, yet they were enthusiastic and quite hopeful to get what they came here for. It was an unprecedented peasants’ March—the longest so far in the history of peasant marches in the State of Maharashtra.
“International human rights law lays down obligations which States are bound to respect. By becoming parties to international treaties, States assume obligations and duties under international law to respect, to protect and to fulfil human rights. The obligation to respect means that States must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights. The obligation to protect requires States to protect individuals and groups against human rights abuses.
Agriculture has been the driving force for India’s economy. At one point farming was even considered to be one of the most respectable job an individual could have. However, with the shift from zero budget farming to the rapid commercialisation of agriculture, many farmers have found themselves displaced or stuck in a vicious circle of debt trap.
In developing country like India, where more than half of its 1.23 billion population is dependent on subsistence farming, both ‘Kisan’ (Farmer) and ‘Krishi’ (Agriculture) become vital constituents of the political economy of the country. Woven around these two unavoidable constituents are the conditions of food security and livelihood, which determine the survival of a vast majority of the country’s population.