On Tuesday, as Bharat Bandh or nation-wide bandh, thousands of protesting farmers arrived at various places in Delhi NCR as the movement against the Center’s three agricultural laws entered its 13th day.
Thousands of protesting farmers from Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have gathered on five different borders since 26 November, including Delhi’s Chilla and Singhu border, which canceled the three agricultural laws passed in September at the Center for nearly two weeks. Has been demanded to do. Demonstrative farmers have a set of five main demands, including the implementation of MSP. And there were protests in other parts of the country on Tuesday with protests in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
But why are farmers protesting?
Before last week, hundreds of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh had fiercely clashed between farmers and security personnel demanding the repeal of the three central agricultural laws passed by the Indian government in September. Alternatively, farmers have demanded implementation of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their crops.
What are the three farm laws?
In September, the Center passed three agricultural laws that have been dubbed as agricultural reforms. These are: the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Price Assurance and Agricultural Services Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. While the government has claimed that the laws are in the interest of farmers, the latter has claimed that the laws are “anti-farmer”.
Why are farmers opposing agricultural laws?
The main objection to the Farmers’ Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act is that it is pro-corporate. It allows farmers to sell outside the APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee). But it abolishes the mandi system that operates under the APMC system, meaning that farmers will now have to sell to corporates, meaning that there will be no procurement of the crop at MSP.
Apart from these, farmers fear losing their land and becoming “slaves” for corporates as far as the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Agricultural Services Act, 2020 is concerned.
On the other hand, the government has said that agricultural laws will help farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the state or the country and there will be no restriction on this type of trade. This would benefit the farmers that they would be able to sell their produce to the merchant where they would get a higher price.
Why was India called off?
Farmers’ organizations today are supporting Bharat Bandh (nationwide bandh) in protest against controversial new agricultural laws, with many trade and transport unions providing support and almost all opposition parties also supporting their demands. Farmer leaders said that their strike would be peaceful and no shops and establishments would be forcibly closed due to the Bharat Bandh. Farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal told reporters, “The entire ‘Bharat Bandh’ will be closed by 3 pm on Tuesday, but emergency services will be allowed.” Farmer leaders had previously announced their intention to block all roads leading to Delhi, which has emerged as the center of protests against farm laws, and occupied all toll plazas, but on Monday they said That they do not want to inconvenience the common people. Therefore, the time of traffic jam (Blockade) from 11 am to 3 pm. Farmers have also said that the protests are political.
The farmers’ protests sparked a huge debate on social media, condemning the violence by farmers to protest peacefully with security forces. Many pictures of security forces beating elderly peasants with sticks, or spraying farmers with water cannons and tear gas went viral, causing widespread outrage. Many political leaders and public figures have come out in support of the farmers.
(With inputs from IANS)