Hundreds of Indian farmers took to the streets on Friday to protest new laws that the government says will boost growth in the agricultural sector through private investments.The protesting farmers fear they could be exploited by private players who buy their crops at cheap prices. Sikhs of Punjab are at forefront of the protests.
The farmers used tractors to block highways on the outskirts of the Indian capital and in some other states. They accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ignoring their demand, including minimum buying prices for crops like wheat, paddy, lentils, soya, cotton and sugarcane in the new legislative clauses.
Narendra Pahwa, a member of the Indian Farmer’s Union, said that moneyed traders will start exploiting farmers. The protest received support from opposition Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, who said the new agricultural laws “will enslave our farmers.”
Similar rallies were held in Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh states.The government protects agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices by announcing a minimum purchase price at the beginning of the sowing season, taking into account the cost of production.
Modi on Friday assured farmers that the government has no intention of discontinuing or diluting the minimum support price for various crops or buying of key crops by government agencies.
The farmers want those assurances to be part of the new law, which was passed last Sunday after an acrimonious debate, said Sukhbir Singh Badal, whose Akali Dal Party is an ally of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.Badal said the farmers were not willing to accept any government assurances short of legislative clauses. The farmers comprise nearly 70% of India’s nearly 1.4 billion people.
The bill deregulates the prices and allows the private markets to be set up outside mandis. Farmers fear that new system shall allow private traders and agents to control and manipulate the prices and a lowest rate guaranteed by mandi system will not exit. The pilot project was implemented in Bihar has reflected same results which has caused a huge uproar in farmer community. As per liberals and activists the new law favours big tycoons and Modi cronies like Ambanis, Shettis and Adanis. New laws will handover food supply chains in the hands of corporate sector.
Indian parliament dominated by RSS is planning to make poor farmers of India slaves of corporate India. The new slogan “Na Dharti, Na Dharam is safe in Modi’s India’ needs to be used. While Modi and RSS is adamant to make India a Hindu state by marginalizing Muslims, Dalits and Christians. Sikh are being targeted through financial regulations. Sikhs must realize that in Modi’s Fascist India, they will be targeted and marginalized after Muslims, Dalits and Christians sooner or later.
Disclaimer: INDIAN FARMERS ON EDGE OF STATE EXPLOITATION - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view