iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
For more than a year, the Indian government was brought to a halt by millions of farmers across India; agitating and protesting to accept the farm laws which they called “draconian farm laws.”
However in a surprise move, on Friday, November 19, the government conceded, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government has decided to repeal the three farm laws, and appealed to the protesting farmers to return home.
Modi’s surprise announcement was welcomed by people in California, who ran several petitions, participated in protests and rallies to gain Modi’s attention to repeal the farmers’ law implemented in 2020 September.
“This is a clear victory for democracy, for organized peaceful protest, and for the people of India. Modi and the BJP passed this legislation without consultation in order to serve corporate interests, including wealthy investors here in the US,” Amar Shergill, California Democratic Party executive board member told indica. “They thought they could push farmers into poverty and any opposition would quickly be crushed with police violence and incarceration. But they were embarrassingly wrong on the international stage and are now permanently weakened by the strength of farmers across the country. We will remain vigilant to ensure that Modi follows through on these promises.”
Another California based supporter of farmers, Raj Sodhi-Layne, who ran a 30-second ad in Fresno, California to create about the farmers’ agitation before the Sunday Super Bowl game on February 7, this year, and also traveled to Washington, DC to be part of the farmers’ march told indica on the repeal, “Hope and Pray this is legitimate and true! I spent $140,000 of personal funds to bring national attention to this issue affecting small farmers in India.”
In order to celebrate this news, US Congressman Andy Levin has welcomed the repeal and congratulated the government’s move.
“Glad to see that after more than a year of protests, the three farm bills in India will be repealed,” Congressman Andy Levin
“This is proof that when workers stick together, they can defeat corporate interests and achieve progress – in India and around the world,” he said in a tweet.
In his address to the nation on the auspicious occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti, Prime Minister Modi insisted that the laws were in the benefit of farmers and then apologized to people of the country while adding that the government could not convince a section of farmers despite its clear heart and a clean conscience.
“I have come to tell you that we have decided to repeal the three farm laws. In the upcoming Parliament session starting at the end of this month, we will complete the constitutional process to repeal the three farm laws,” PM Modi said.
Hundreds of farmers have been camping at the three Delhi’s borders since November 2020 with the demand that the government repeal the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
They have also been demanding a new law to guarantee the minimum support price (MSP) for crops.
The Centre, which held 11 rounds of formal dialogue with farmers, had maintained that the new laws are pro-farmer, while protesters claimed that they would be left at the mercy of corporations because of the legislation.