India’s farmers are several months into a historic sit-in at the gates of Delhi, and a historic countrywide movement demanding repeal of three laws enacted by the Modi regime to serve agri-business corporations at the cost of India’s farming and food security. In the midst of this, have fallen certain memorable dates from the history of agrarian struggles in India.
4 February 2021 marked the centenary of the Chauri Chaura struggle – an important chapter of the freedom struggle.
April 2021 marks 104 years of the Champaran Satyagraha – a historic peasant movement challenging British colonial rule, another important chapter of the freedom struggle.
March 11 marks the birth anniversary of Swami Sahajanand Saraswati – the pioneering leader of the Kisan Sabha, and the peasant movement in Bihar.
The Narendra Modi regime, of course, tries with all its might to appropriate these historic legacies, and link them with various casteist or communal narratives. But these legacies resist such appropriation, because they are not “dead history”, they live not just in the pages of the history books but in the struggles of fighting farmers and Indians resisting Company Raj and defending freedoms today.