India’s farmers protests and why they matter

Something I’ve been thinking about recently is why I don’t seem to be seeing or hearing enough about the farmers protests currently happening in India. For several months now farmers and their families have taken to the streets to protest against specifically three new laws which will arguably threaten their livelihoods.

The reforms allow for the loosening of rules around the sale, pricing and storage of farm produce. It is these rules which have protected India’s farmers from an unrestricted free market for many decades.

The loss of government-controlled markets means the loss of a minimum guaranteed price for farmers and whilst the government insists this is the most beneficial way forward for all, the protests suggest otherwise. Notably, the protests have been met with resistance from police. It wasn’t until I did my own research that I found that in Delhi, online internet access had been shortly suspended with India’s Ministry of Home Affairs saying the move was “in the interest of maintaining public safety and averting public emergency.” 

This week, I hope to follow the development of events closely but for now I’m left inspired and in awe of not just the farmers, but their families and all those involved who are showing continued resilience and determination to collectively stand up for their livelihoods. 

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