Shivamogga, the capital of Malenadu has a long history of people's movements. It has always been at the forefront of protests related to the environment.
A place that gave birth to farmers movements and the Dalit struggle organised the first Raitha Mahapanchayat on Saturday. Along the lines of Kisan Mahapanchayats being held in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and other states across the country, farmer conventions (Raitha Mahapanchayat) was held in Karnataka's Shivamogga.
The rally was addressed by some of the prominent farmer leaders, who are also leading the protest against "anti-farmer laws" in Delhi, Bharatiya Kisan union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait, BKU general secretary Yudhvir Singh and Krantikari Kisan Union chief Darshan Pal at science field in the city.
Hundreds of farmers from Shivamogga and neighbouring districts took part in rally
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, United Struggle Committee, Hasiru Sene, Samyukta Kisan Morcha and anti- BJP political parties had also engaged in the rally.
Addressing the rally, K.T. Gangadhar, leader of Rajya Raitha Sangha said, "We demand the centre to withdraw the controversial laws it passed without discussion".
Working president of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha H.R. Basavarajappa said the present situation had brought all factions of farmers organisations together. "I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for forcing all of us to come together, by bringing in anti-farmer laws. We will fight together against the laws" he said.
Earlier in 1951, the Congress protested against the Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) ordinance at Kagodu village in Sagar taluk giving birth to Raitha Sangha in the district and attracted nationwide attention with the "Kagodu Satyagraha", demanding the ownership of land they were cultivating. The movement prompted many senior socialist leaders, including Ram Manohar Lohia, to visit the place.
With that the socialist movement also received significant support in the district. In later years, the struggles of seeking grant of land for the landless tenants put pressure on the governments to bring in pro-farmer laws.