Last week, Indian farmers from the agricultural states of Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh (MP), Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Uttarakhand marched on the capital Delhi, opposing two farm laws and one Essential Commodities Act (Amendment) that were passed during the Monsoon session of the Parliament in September.
Presently, thousands of Indian farmers have congregated in the north-western area of the city, where they are peacefully demonstrating against the farm laws – which, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have been put in place to provide "new opportunities" for the farmers.
What Are These Laws Wrecking Havoc On Indian Farmers?
- The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 compels farmers to sell their crops in places other than their designated Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) markets. APMC markets are state-government-backed marketing boards which were founded to protect farmers from being exploited by large retailers.
- The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 is supposed to help contract-based farming projects so farmers can enter into supply agreements with private firms for set prices.
- The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020 removes stock limits on farm produce so traders can maintain the stock freely without fearing any additional hoarding charges.
What Do the Indian Farmers Think About These Laws?
Clearly, the farming community is strongly against these new laws and amendments. Regardless of age, religion and sex, farmers have joined together in Delhi, despite the physical injuries they've sustained.
#WATCH Delhi: Farmers continue their protest at Ghazipur-Ghaziabad (Delhi-UP) border against the farm laws amid security deployment.— ANI (@ANI) November 29, 2020
Visuals of farmers trying to break through the barricades at Ghazipur, Delhi pic.twitter.com/dMunJhmDdg
The face of the farmers' protest in Delhi. A 70-year old stalwart injured by a tear-gas shell below his left eye.— Mandeep Singh Bajwa (@MandeepBajwa) November 28, 2020
Jai Jawan! Jai Kisan! pic.twitter.com/QN8A7MJ5yl
The farmers are accusing the Modi-government of allowing produce pricing to be influenced by market forces and backing out from its role as a price guarantor.
Where is the Indian Government at This Point?
The central government tried to get the farmers gathered on the outskirts of Delhi to discuss the situation. The attempt, however, failed after the farmers at the borders said that they’d rather wait there and be allowed to march up to central Delhi’s famous protest area – Jantar Mantar.
More details about what the government intends to do are awaited.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi from India’s main opposition Congress party on Monday said the Modi government is committing atrocities against the farmers and that the government seems to have forgotten that when the farmers raise their voice, it resonates through the entire country.