On the 2nd of October, Gandhi’s birthday, Karnataka’s farmers’ movement – KRRS celebrated by organizing a large youth gathering in Davangere town in Karnataka. They had made an open call to farming youth to come and become part of the farmers movement and defend their access and right to land, seeds, water and education.
Youth from all over Karnataka responded enthusiastically and came in large numbers.”We are proud of being farmers,” said one KRRS youth. Various veterans from the socialist movement, farmers leaders, education reformers addressed the youth men and women. Open calls were made to stop land grabbing, to stop the privatization of seeds, and to prevent the entry of large foreign retail like Wal-mart, and instead to carry out peoples real development.
The inclusion of youth has been a key challenge for farmers organizations which tend to be dominated by older and more experienced men, young women are even less to be found. KRRS has taken the issue of youth very seriously and plan to continue to organize many youth camps across the state as well as create more meaningful spaces for youth to participate in the movement.
KRRS also ratified a declaration at the meeting which included among other things a ban on land grabbing, which is currently being institutionalized in a new land acquisition law. They also demanded a reversal of a recent undemocratic executive decision by the government to allow the entry of foreign retail like Walmart in India in the pretext of a better deal for farmers among others.