Farmers Protest in Delhi: Many farmers in India are on strike right now against the new agricultural legislation being passed by the government.
The previous government promised to bring in an amendment to the new agriculture policies but didn’t. Farmers are now demanding the same. I support farmers’ struggles.
Farmers throughout India are joining various trade and farmer’s organizations to make their voices heard. The new farm laws were supposed to benefit both the farmers and the country as a whole. Farmers were very frustrated with the previous government’s failure to introduce any amendments to the agricultural policies.
However, after the formation of new coalitions in the national assembly, the government has finally started introducing various amendments in the agricultural acts.
Reason Behind the largest farmers protest ever
The main reason behind farmers joining in massive demonstrations against the government is that they want the introduction of amendments to the farm act so that they can receive better returns on their agricultural production. They are demanding that the federal cabinet should immediately introduce amendments in the agricultural policies so that the interests of the farmers can be protected.
Various farming organizations have also called for a nationwide strike on the day of April tenth to demand the introduction of the new farm laws in the national capital. The main reasons for their demand are that they are being forced to accept higher levels of pesticides and fertilizers because of the passage of the new farm act.
According to news reports, there was a huge police presence in the national capital on the day of April tenth when hundreds of farmers took part in a massive protest against the government’s new farm policy.
The police used batons, teargas, and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd of farmers. The police attempted to disperse the crowd using teargas but the farmers succeeded in dispersing them with rocks and petrol bombs. Another police car was damaged due to stones thrown by the marchers.
Finally, the Delhi police resorted to lathi-charge on the marchers and they later arrested more than twenty people including the leaders of the Indian Farmers Association.
Earlier this year, the Indian Farmers Association had organized a sit-in strike near the parliament house to demand that the newly formed government take immediate steps to implement the planned amendments to the farm act. In November, the farmers went on a three-day strike in protest against the increase in the price of cotton and other agricultural products.
The increase in the price of raw materials has resulted in a severe hit on the agricultural income of the farmers. Although the amended policy has been passed by the previous government, it has not been implemented in the ordinary run of business in the country.
The reason for this is that the previous government believed that the impact of the policy will be felt only on a long-term basis and hence did not make any amendments.
However, the present government has made efforts to rectify the mistake. In November, the central government along with the state governments took strong measures to reduce the rate of production of cotton. This was done in the interest of the farmers, who suffered a lot due to the rise in the prices of agricultural products.
Farmers protest outcomes
During the nationwide demonstration against the hike in the price of cotton, farmers from all over the country gathered at the national capital. The government promised to compensate the loss suffered by the farmers through compensations and waive off all types of import duties imposed on the cotton.
But this did not placate the farmers who were suspicious of the fulfillment of promises made by the government. On Nov 3, an unauthorized street rally organized by the Farmer’s Union of India gathered thousands of farmers to demonstrate against the hike in the price of cotton. The leader of the Farmer’s Union of India (Fuehri), Saleem ul Bari, addressed the crowd and appealed to them to continue their agitation against the new cotton price hike. He promised that the farmers would not face any loss in the procurement of raw material during the next season.
The authorities deployed thousands of police personnel, including the local police, and hundreds of constables to contain the crowd of marchers while spraying them with water cannons and teargas to disperse them. Only a few of the marchers tried to break the barricade and enter the premises of the BJP government office, but the police dispersed them so violently that they could not proceed.
Thereafter, the media played on the tension by creating a BJP vs EDSA faceoff. Both the parties released press statements that they were standing together against the common enemy – the common man. It was a classic example of how communication can get distorted in situations like this.