Farmers protest in India against the new agricultural laws has now evolved into the shutdown India call after seven hours meeting between government and representative failed. The protesters who are demanding assurance of minimum price for their produce; something that new laws don’t gaurantee have now called for a nation-wide strike.
As per the latest reports, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah has agreed to meet the farmers on Tuesday. The government will continue negotiations on Wednesday.
Indian Farmers Protest- Is It Punjab Vs Dehli Government?
The new agricultural laws are likely to affect farmers in every state of India. However, those from Punjab, Haryana, and other neighboring regions of Dehli are likely to receive greater impact since their livelihoods are dependent upon agriculture. Apparently, Punjabi farmers particularly those from the Sikh community are at the center stage of the protest. Interestingly, the commoners are not alone in their quest to fight against the laws that can endanger their livelihoods Punjabi celebrities like Great Khali have also joined the Indian farmer protest.
The protests against the Indian government are not taking place only in India. Punjabi community overseas is also standing with their brothers. In London, a huge gathering of Sikhs showed enthusiasm towards the Punjabi community by raising their voices in favor of farmers. Even the famous English cricketer Monty Panesar also joined the protest in London.
The new agricultural laws will allow farmers to sell their produce to big corporations instead of middlemen. The government argues that farmers who face exploitation at the hands of the middleman will now have new sellers. While, big farmers may benefit from these laws, small farmers who don’t own much land may suffer as corporates may buy at lower prices for being in better bargaining position.
A Challenge for Modi Government?
Indian farmers protest is the major highlight to come from India in the last weeks. It is such a national level issue that even celebrities are arguing with each other about this. One such example of a viral clash is Diljit Dosanjh and Kangana Ranaut’s Twitter fight. The fight between the celebrities shows that people are divided on the basis of pro farmers and pro-Modi government.
The Indian farmer’s protest is not the only resistance movement that the Modi government is facing. The protests by the Muslim community and students after the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act have remained in the limelight at the end of 2019 and the start of 2020. BJP government received huge criticism for creating a challenge for migrant workers during the Covid 19 lockdown. The country is also witnessing low growth in GDP, partly due to government’s policies and partly due to pandemic.
The far-right movement of the Modi government has made so-called secular India and communally divided India due to persecution of minorities, particularly Muslims.
Indian farmers protest may add to the growing unpopularity of the BJP government in the country, particularly if it fails to address the grievances of affected community.