If you have been on the internet for a while or surfing newspapers, news channels daily, you would already have an idea that farmers in India have been organising protests against the new farm laws the Government is vigorously planning to implement. There had been widespread farmers protest in Delhi and neighbouring areas witnessed recently. The peaceful protests had also resulted in violence when the nation was celebrating its 72nd Republic Day.
At present, the central Government is trying to negotiate with the farmers but there is currently much dissatisfaction in the farmer community. Read on to know about farmers protest in India. Latest news that you are searching for is right here!
Claiming to provide new income opportunities for the farmers through their produce, the Indian Government had introduced the Indian Agriculture Acts of 2020 or the Farm Bills. The new farmers bill 2020 included three farm laws:
- The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act which aims to set up a system that allows the trade of farm produce by a farmer beyond the control of APMCs or the Agriculture Produce Market Committees. It will eliminate the Mandi tax.
- The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act that will permit contract farming freely by farmers.
- The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act that has allowed items, like onion, food grains, edible oils, and pulses for trade.
The focus was on encouraging private investments and improving the infrastructure in the farm sector, but on the contrary affecting the small and marginal farmers because their low output won’t allow them to bargain and they’ll get lower prices for their produce. Not to mention, the role of private players was seen as positive for the agriculture sector. However, Farmers community believe that because of this new law, the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system will be eliminated and it will impact their income.
The farmers bill in India was passed in the Parliament in September 2020. However, the protests started in August, especially across Indian states of Punjab and Haryana. The Supreme Court had said it will stay the implementation of the three laws. In November, supporting the farmer unions, the protesters started moving towards the national capital.
The farmers protest Delhi and other regions witnessed included nationwide chakka jam and road traffic snarls. On 26th January 2021, a tractor parade was organized. However, it resulted in violence and loss of life of a protester.
What’s The Controversy Around ‘New Farm Bills?
The Farmers protest in Delhi and other areas have mainly happened over one of the three laws. The new agricultural law says that farmers are free to sell their produce inter-state and intra-state, online – anywhere and not just in the market place approved by APMC. And, farmers believe that they would earn even lesser than what they used to get earlier if they trade outside of APMC.
Why Is This A Political Issue?
The situation not only involves farmers, activists, celebrities who voice their opinions, but even political parties are divided on this issue. While the Central Government feels that the farm laws will work for the benefit of the farmers and appealed to the farmers not to be misled by those who are spreading misconceptions. On the other hand, the opposition parties and political leaders have been questioning the Government, seeking concrete remark concerning the conspiracy behind the farm laws. We continue to hear more about the ongoing farmers protest in India, latest news today and updates revolving around this serious issue.
Some of the main demands, the major farmers protest reason, are summarized below:
- The foremost demands of the farmers have been the repeal of the farmers bill in India – the three farm laws.
- Farmers do not want the scrapping of the Minimum Support Price and instead demand their right to have the MSP and state procurement of all crops.
- Farmers demanded the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations on fixed MSP.
- Stubble-burning is a major contributing factor for air pollution in NCR. A commission was set up to tackle the problem and a stringent law & fine was passed. The farmers demand this law to be revised.
- The farmers also want the diesel cost for agricultural use to be cut by 50 per cent.
- Some farmer leaders also want the cases against farmers to be withdrawn.
Recently after many rounds of talks around farmers protest, news is that the Government has agreed to consider two of the demands of farmers. The Government is in talks to consider demand of not levying fines for stubble-burning and of allowing subsidised power for agricultural use.
The farmers protest in Delhi and other regions in north India have been garnering the attention from across the world. Several communities in the UK and Canada who support this movement have been raising their voices and showing solidarity with the protesters. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, climate activist Greta Thunberg, celebrity singer Rihanna are some well-known names, those who are backing the farmers’ cause.
Celebrities have been expressing their opinion about the issue through social media platforms. Also, international media have been closely tracking and covering the protests and violence that followed. Check the live news on farmers protest to know the notable personalities and celebrities who have joined to support the farmers.
Amidst the chaos and news platforms trying to highlight the plight of the protesting farmers, the Central Government has been holding talks with farmers, but currently there is much dissatisfaction in the farmer community over how the Government has handled the situation. The Ghazipur border was the location for the recent farmers protest. Delhi and Uttar Pradesh state had beefed up security by deploying police and paramilitary forces in the areas.
Keep following the live news on farmers protest and find the latest updates here.