Workers and Farmers in India Strike to Protest New Laws

More than a thousand Indian farmers and their supporters have occupied the streets of New Delhi for days to protest three new agriculture reform laws.

More than a thousand Indian farmers and their supporters have occupied the streets of New Delhi for days to protest three new agriculture reform laws.

The said reforms enacted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in late September will loosen rules around the sale, pricing, and storage of farm produce which has served to protect farmers for years.

Indian farmers are now allowed to sell goods and make contracts with independent buyers outside of government-sanctioned marketplaces.

According to Modi,  the new reforms will help India modernize and improve its farming industry.

Despite the BJP’s hopes, the farmers defended that the bills do not mention anything about minimum support prices (MSP) which is their primary safety net.

The farmers said that if MSPs are dropped, large corporations could set prices that would put farmers at a loss.

“Farmers have so much passion because they know that these three laws are like death warrants for them,” said Abhimanyu Kohar, coordinator of the National Farmer’s Alliance.

The protesting farmers along with their families and friends have been dispersed with water cannons and tear gas.

Most of them camped out on the streets and have walked from regions far away from New Delhi.

The farmers said that they brought enough supplies with them to last for at least six months and are determined to stay until Modi’s government repeals the new farm bills.


© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.