The farmers’ protests, probably the biggest organized demonstration in India in recent times, have entered their 12th day and the participating farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, are far from done with raising their voices against the new farm laws. Instead, the protests have turned into a movement, with many known faces as well as commoners joining the farmers at the Singhu and Tikri borders of Haryana where the farmers are waiting to enter Delhi under their Dilli Chalo movement.
The leaders of participating farmers’ associations have been engaging in multiple rounds of talks with the government in a bid to resolve the issues that the farmers have raised in their demands. However, despite those talks, the protests continue as the government is stuck in a deadlock with the farmers. With all its efforts at dissuading the farmers from protesting going in vain, it looks like the government is lost in a labyrinth of the farmers’ demands.
The protestors, however, claim their demands are quite simple. All they want is for the new farm laws to be repealed and the previous MSP regime reinstated.
Amidst the ongoing Bharat Bandh today (December 8), the government maintains that the complete rollback of the new farm laws is not possible. It has, however, asked the farmers to join another round of talks tomorrow after the recently held fifth round of talks also failed to lead to a resolution.
The farmers and their families continue to camp at the Haryana-Delhi borders after the Delhi and Haryana police have stopped them from entering the territory of Delhi. Keeping in view the safety and health of the more vulnerable groups, the government has recently requested the farmers to send the protesting women and the accompanying children back to their homes.
Support for the protests is coming from many quarters. Popular Punjabi singer and actor Diljit Dosanjh recently announced a donation of Rs 1 crore to the protesting farmers so they can afford winter garments and stay protected against the harsh winter of the north. Olympic medal winner Boxer Vijender Singh has also openly backed the farmers, saying that he will return the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna if the government does not meet the demands of the farmers. Other celebrities, sportspersons, singers, and performers from Punjab and Haryana, such as Harbhajan Singh, Gurdas Mann, Ammy Virk, have also come out in support of the farmers.
Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal also expressed solidarity with the farmers as he declared his party’s complete support for the Bharat Bandh.
International support for the farmers has also been getting stronger and louder. After Canadian PM Justin Trudeau addressed the media in support of the farmers’ right to protest, the United Nations stood up for them, with the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General saying that the people of India have the right to protest and demonstrate for their cause and the local government should let them exercise their prerogatives peacefully.
Having turned into a massive campaign that the whole world is watching keenly, the farmers’ protests need to be peacefully and satisfactorily resolved at the earliest. Further escalation of this problem might have a devastating impact on the nation and the economy.