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  Metros   Mumbai  07 Sep 2017  Marathas March for better future, reservations, waiver

Marathas March for better future, reservations, waiver

THE ASIAN AGE. | OLGA TELLIS
Published : Sep 7, 2017, 3:03 am IST
Updated : Sep 7, 2017, 3:03 am IST

A majority of Marathas are farmers but farming is no longer lucrative as is evident in the huge number of suicides by the farmers. 

According to the police, three lakh people attended the mega march on August 9 in Mumbai.
 According to the police, three lakh people attended the mega march on August 9 in Mumbai.

Mumbai: It was a cride coeur (cry from the heart) for the action by the Marathas who marched in one of the biggest morchas in Mumbai, to resolve the rural distress. It is said to be the largest mocha since India’s Independence — three lakh people according to the police but five to nine lakh according to the organisers, cried out.  There was no single leader, just 58 groups that converged at Azad Maidan on August 9, which is observed as the Quit India day, making the morcha all the more significant. It served as a signal for the government to take serious, time-bound decisions regarding their demands. 

Another issue is that the farmers have been asked to fill forms online but it is not even happening offline since it’s a time consuming process, particularly as the sowing season had just started, said Vijay Jawandhia a farmer from Wardha. He feels that the government is playing for time, as it does not have the Rs 34,000 crore loan waiver promised by Mr Fadnavis. 

 

The banks insist that the government deposit the money equivalent to the loans to be waived before the banks waive off loans and enable the farmers to get fresh loans. 

The demands of the farmers include reservation in services and education, skilling programmes, loan waiver, remunerative prices for farm produce and amendment to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) Act. A large number of Marathas are from the economically weaker sections. Reservations in the services and education would help them, said Rajya Sabha member Sambhaji Raje, a Maratha leader who is also a distant descendant of the emperor Shivaji. 

A majority of Marathas are farmers but farming is no longer lucrative as is evident in the huge number of suicides by the farmers. 

 

Dhananjay Sinha, institutional research, economist and strategist, Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd, said, “The cost of cultivation rising faster than price realisation from the farm produce has caused contraction in the net cash flows, thereby impairing loan repayment capability (of the farmer).” 

Reservations for dalits and tribals are yet another sore point with the Marathas. They argue that even Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar had said that reservations should be reviewed 10 years after it came into existence. This was not done and no one has been taken to task for this. No political party wishes to disturb or alienate their vote banks.

 

Tags: scheduled caste, rajya sabha, marathas, scheduled tribes
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)