FARMERS PROTEST 2020
THE LARGEST PROTEST IN ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY.
THE FARMERS PROTEST 2020
250,000,000 people from India and others from all over the globe have been peacefully protesting for Indian farmers against the three farm acts passed by the Indian Parliament in 2020. Anger, worry, concern, and displeasure against these 3 bills have been transpiring since September 2020 when these bills were first introduced in the parliament. The farmers patiently awaited for the Indian Government to address this topic transparently and take their suffering into consideration and answer their questions. The Government proceeded and passed these bills completely disregarding the farmers' agony. For several days now, people from all the states (predominantly Punjab and Haryana) have been peacefully marching to the national capital, Delhi under the slogan “Delhi Chalo”, demanding the government to repeal these bills.
THE 3 BILLS:
This bill allows the farmers to sell their produce outside the APMC (mandis)
Allows electronic trading and e-commerce of scheduled farmers' produce.
Prohibits state governments from levying any market fee, cess, or levy on farmers, traders, and electronic trading platforms for the trade of farmers’ produce conducted in an ‘outside trade area’.
It provides provisions for contract farming. It allows the farmer to make a contract with the corporate before production, thus safeguarding them from any uncertainty.
Removes foodstuff such as cereals, pulses, potato, onions, edible oilseeds, and oils, from the list of essential commodities, removing stock holding limits on such items except under "extraordinary circumstances".
WHY ARE THE FARMERS PROTESTING?
These bills are known as anti farm bills. Why? While the condition of farmers' have been exacerbating ever since 2014, it is collapsing under these farm bills that only caters to the corporate world. Although there has been a sustained decline in their incomes caused by low prices where the farmers are stuck between high cultivation rates and sluggish price for their produce, these bills do not guarantee regulation.
Opposition to Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020: They deregulate the crop prices by abolishing a government-guaranteed system MSP on certain crops like rice and wheat (The minimum support price (MSP) is an agricultural product price set by the Government of India to purchase directly from the farmer. This rate is to safeguard the farmer to a minimum profit for the harvest if the open market has a lesser price than the cost incurred) and thus allowing the corporates to exploit them.
Opposition to Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020:There is no regulatory body to keep a check on the contracts. This suits the powerful corporates and weakens the farmer’s negotiating capacity. Even though the government made vague promises of allowing the producer to buy directly from the farmers, outside regulated markets without paying any taxes, the rates for the produce are not under the farmer’s control. APMC collapse leaves very little room for the farmers to bargain for their prices.
Opposition to Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020: The Indian Government ceased procurement of crops and let the corporate do this job. It also abolished the stock
limits on crops, which is only in the favour of big corporates as it allows them to control the demand and supply ratio in the market. They ruthlessly dictate small farmers for profit.
The farmers sense betrayal because the government enforced these laws when they are already affected by the slowing economy and the pandemic where most are barely surviving. "We're worried no one will buy our produce, and that we'll go into debt", says Harinder Singh, general-secretary of a Punjabi farmers union.
The government implemented these laws without conferring the shareholder, the farmer.
Mainstream media is constantly fooling the citizens and misinforming them. Manipulating the news to their advantage. This is the largest protest in human history and yet the media is not doing any justice to it.
250,000,000 Indians now stand with the Indian farmers and other people from different parts of the world. The government’s reluctance in answering the farmers even though the protest has been going on for 3 months has worsened the situation and contributed to growing these protests. THIS IS THE LARGEST PROTEST IN ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY. People from all over the world have joined in solidarity. They are chanting slogans, helping each other, feeding everyone around them, and inviting visitors with tea.
The government tried to cease the protests filthily when the farmers took oaths not causing any trouble to anyone by digging up pits, water cannons, and tear gas. The farmers make sure that the same police have eaten their meals. Navdeep Singh has been charged with attempts to murder for climbing onto a police water cannon to turn it off to protect the farmers. But the farmers stood strong, shrugging it off by saying, “They can’t stop us or scare us, we do this every day in our farms. We will fill it up and proceed. We don’t plan to return until they withdraw the bill.” They are well prepared.
At the Singhu border, they have set up a mini-town extending for over 18 kilometers. The trucks are converted into tiny homes. People are volunteering for Langars. The farmers have turned the streets into a home. It is beautiful yet upsetting.
“Look at our langar, we can feed this entire city. And we don’t want ₹2000 doles (direct cash assistance under the PM-Kisan scheme). Before coming to Delhi, I purchased a garland and told my family, "If I return home victorious, put the garland on me if I return home dead, place it on my shroud," says a 35-year-old Khuswant Singh from Khanna, Punjab.
Among these protestors, there are many children who are protesting along with their families. “Farming today is going down the hill. The new laws will cause problems for the farmers, and rich people will benefit from them,” said 13 y/o Gursewak Singh. The fear in their voice is evident.
PEACEFUL PROTESTS ARE THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF EVERY CITIZEN
WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THESE PROTESTORS:
If you ate today, thank a farmer. NO FARMER NO FOOD. We are witnessing history. More than half of the Indian population makes a living out of agriculture. But yet farmers are the ones who are being ignored, disregarded, and mistreated. Small scale farmers have helped India become independent for food.
Educate people around you.
VOLUNTEER if there are protests happening near you.
Share and create content surrounding this.
Donate to this cause.
Let’s be a part of this historical revolution and let the farmers decide the narrative in its purest form without any manipulation. Farmers are heroes and not terrorists.
Writer - Charmy Savla
Editor - Hamza Ansari,
Illustrator and Graphics - Jhem
@saffronstudios on Instgram
Amit Mehra from the Indian Express
Credit to the respective owners