India farm law: Farmers are prepared for new protests seven months after it was removed.
Fury, fear, and a great deal of uncertainty. Bachittar Kaur and other local women from the Punjab state in northern India claimed to have experienced that when they first started their demonstrations.
They were among the tens of thousands of farmers who protested at Delhi’s borders against the agricultural changes the government imposed in 2020. Despite all odds, the demonstrators remained camped out on the outskirts of the city for more than a year. They overcame extreme heat, a harsh winter, and even a second deadly Covid wave.
According to Ms. Kaur, “I had promised my friends and family that I would die opposing but won’t permit the implementation of these farm regulations.”
She claims it wasn’t simple to leave her cozy home and live on the streets in a tractor trolley as a retired schoolteacher. But there was nothing we could do because these farm laws were our death warrants.
Several rounds of negotiations between government representatives and agricultural groups failed to break the impasse, despite months of government insistence that the rules were beneficial to farmers and that doing away with them was not an option. The government cracked down on protests, resulting in many farmer deaths and a large number of arrests.
However, on November 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a historic U-turn and stated that the laws would be repealed. On November 30, a bill was formally approved by the parliament. However, the farmers didn’t leave right away; they declared that they would keep on protesting until the government acceded to their other requests, which included guaranteed pricing for important commodities.
Days later, the government agreed, ending the protests of the previous year. According to Ms. Kaur, it was a “really special” time in her life. However, the government has refused to meet the farmers’ demands seven months after they returned home.
The next line of action will be decided at a meeting that farm leaders have scheduled for July 3. Prominent farm leaders, including Rakesh Tikait, who led the demonstrations, will attend the gathering in Ghaziabad, a city close to Delhi.
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