‘Indian Farmers’ Protests: What’s Happening? A Complete Guide to Farmer Protests Supported by Rihanna

Indian farmers drew international attention over the weekend after many celebrities and members of the public, including Rihanna, shared their grievances with farmers’ protests in the country. Tens of thousands of farmers have been protesting in India for more than two months. Protesters have used tractors, trucks and large stones to build barriers and demand that the law be repealed.
More than half of India’s population work on farms, estimated at about 650 million. Agriculture contributes to the sixth total of total household production.
There are no official household income figures in recent years, but there are data on agricultural incomes that show growth rates declining between 2014 and 2019.

However, due to rising inflation, consumer price increases have grown from less than 2.5 percent in 2017 to 7.7 percent in 2019.
Farmers have been protesting against three agricultural laws published by the Indian government.
Agricultural legislation will loosen the rules surrounding the sale, pricing and storage of agricultural products.

Protesters demand the low price of support for their product.
Leaders of the ruling Baratiya Janata Party (BJP) say the new farm rules will double the income of farmers – a promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016.
Indian farmers want these laws lifted and join protests led by farmers in Punjab and Haryana to campaign for these changes.
The Supreme Court of India has suspended these laws and established a committee.
The executive council cannot continue to enforce the rules at this time.

Specifically, the proposed Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act allows farmers to sell their produce outside the Agricultural Production Markets Committees (APMC).
This means that traders can buy from the farmer at the agreed price. In addition, the Farmers’ Agreement (Empowerment and Protection) Price Agreement and Farm Services Act will allow farmers to do contract farming and sell their produce freely.
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act will remove food grains, pulses, edible oils and onions from the priority list and make it impossible to ban trade without exceptional circumstances.

However, farmers are opposed to the rules saying they will reduce crop prices and eventually remove Minimum Support Price (MSP).
MSP assures farmers of income by establishing an equal amount of crop.
Most farmers work at a lower rate and have lower annual incomes.
Indian farmers are unable to export their produce to the region for commercial purposes due to the cost of implementing this initiative.
Protesting farmers believe the new rules will eventually lead to an independent player movement that will leave the industry vulnerable to disruption by big business and market forces.

The protests turned violent on January 26, India’s Republic Day.
A group of farmers driving a tractor pulled out of a protest lane and attacked the Red Fort, a historic fortress in the city of Delhi.
Hundreds of police and farmers were injured in the incident, and one of the protesters died during the incident.
Farmers’ leaders condemned the violence but said they would not stop the protest.
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On Saturday, February 6, thousands of farmers blocked highways crossing India for hours.
Tractors, trucks and large stones were used to block roads, activists carrying banners and flags during protests.

Saturday’s ban began at noon, lasted for three hours, and no violence was reported immediately.
Several negotiations between farmers and the government have failed to bring success.
But the government has said laws are needed to develop Indian agriculture.
The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called on the authorities and protesters to stay calm.
In recent negotiations, the government promised to suspend the laws for 12 to 18 months, but farmers’ unions refused.
Farmers’ unions across India are calling on the Indian government to set a date for the next round of talks.

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