News

India's Farmer Strike

By Food Freedom Foundation Board Member
Said Abdallah
January 28, 2021

Ever-since I moved to Fairview, North Carolina area back in 2013 my interest in farming and volunteering led me to becoming a member of Food Freedom Foundation formerly known as Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund ( The Foundation), since then I have become an advocate for farmers and farm workers on local, national and global levels.

Today and after almost one year from the spread of the Covid-19 Pandemic I became more appreciative of the importance of farmers in our daily lives, especially when paper goods and many other items disappeared from the shelves of our supermarkets, we were able to find fresh produce, dairy and a variety of meat products.

My interest in farming and  struggles farmers endure from the impact of climate change to government unreasonable regulations impelled me to bring some attention to the struggle farmers in India are experiencing.

For over two months thousands of Indian farmers have been protesting at the border points of New Delhi, demanding the rollback of the government “Farm Reform Lawes” and the guarantee of the Minimum Support Price that existed prior to the new laws.

Among those who showed solidarity to the farmers were ten of thousands of students and union workers.

Protests were peaceful until Tuesday when police set barricades to prevent protesters from marching to the historic Red Fort, farmers used their tractors to remove all barriers  and marched on to the building, that’s when clashes began resulting in casualties on both sides.

As of today, January 28, police ordered all protesters to vacate all entries to New Delhi by midnight.

I chose two articles that shed light on the ongoing struggle of the Indian farmers, the first one is written by ViJay Prashad, a historian, editor and a journalist I have followed for years. He wrote a book called the Poorer nations among 20 other books.

And the second I found in the India Express paper describes sad conditions that lead to large numbers of suicides among  farmers.

The third link is a youtube piece that explains the government modified bills (led to the strike) and the lack of implementation of existing bills and the impact that has on small farmers.

  1. Around 250 million people across India joined the general strike, making it the largest strike in world history. https://consortiumnews.com/2020/12/04/indias-one-day-general-strike-largest-in-history/
  2. Farmers’ suicides highest in Maharashtra despite loan waiver, reform measures: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/farmers-suicides-highest-in-maharashtra-despite-loan-waiver-reform-measures-6720184/
  3. Farmer Bill Explained: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Rl0-T9jIRo&feature=farmers suicides in Maharashtra

*Photo source https://familyfarmers.org/?p=1866

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