On December 4th we covered the protest by the people of New York who stand in solidarity with the farmers’ protest of India. Watch to know what the New Yorkers had to say.
The image of police and forces thrashing the farmers at the Delhi border are all over the internet these days. From water cannons to blockades to stop the agitating farmers from reaching the capital have been splashed all across the media. What exactly are these thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, and some from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh protesting against?
In the bite of chilly breeze and the havoc of pandemic the determination of these farmers to carry their protest raises the moot question ‘what has gone wrong for them?’
The farmers are agitated by the passing of a set of three new farm laws passed by the Modi government in September 2020. The first law, promising price assurance to farmers even before sowing of crops. The second, creates a competitive market environment and also prevents wastage of agri-produce that happens due to lack of storage facilities. And the third, notionally meant to act as a catalyst to attract private sector investment for building supply chains for the supply of Indian farm produce to national and global markets, and in agricultural infrastructure. These three new laws claimed to streamline and transform farming in India.
But, the farmers feel that these three farm laws will gradually end the pre-existing mandi system and leave farmers at the mercy of corporates. And dismantling the mandi system will bring an end to the assured procurement of their crops at MSP. Price assurance legislation may protect the farmers against exploitation but will not have price fixation and therefore they are demanding the government to guarantee MSP in writing. The government on the other hand is using all its tools to curb the farmers’ movement, right from using force to its mouthpieces naming the protesters ‘Khalistan’ sympathizers to calling it the opposition’s hand in the protest.
But seems like what could have been resolved by claiming the nerves of the farmers have exploded with national highways been blocked and the farmers on streets. The question is being raised on the government as to the treatment meted out to our farmers ‘the Anna-dataas’, and how can the government not allow peaceful protests by the farmers?
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the world goes by, Pallavi is optimistic to a fault and believes in building her world on her own rather than depending on others to make things right.