Farmers Mark A Year Of Protest After Modi’s Climb-down

Story Highlights
  • Farmers marked one-year of their successful protest against the Centre's contentious farm laws.
  • They will continue the protest as several of their other demands have not been fulfilled yet.
  • Modi’s government had passed the 3 contentious laws in Sept 2020.

New Delhi: A blood donation camp has been set up at the Singhu border and morning prayers were held on Friday as the protest site marks one year since the agitation began. Tens of thousands of farmers are holding demonstrations across the country against 3 controversial farm laws, despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement that they will be repealed. In a stunning U-turn ahead of crucial elections in key states, Modi last Friday said the laws would be rolled back when the Indian parliament meets later this month. Though the farmers’ unions welcomed the move, they decided not to end their protest until the laws are formally withdrawn.

“Farmers and workers are responding in huge numbers. Thousands of farmers have started arriving at the various morchas in Delhi,” an SKM statement said. Farmers will block highways in Karnataka. In Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh, trade unions have announced that they would join the farmers at the protests being held at district headquarters. Tractor rallies will be taken out in Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal. Declining Modi’s appeal to return to their homes, the agitating farmers have decided to stay put until the laws are formally scrapped in Parliament.

Modi’s government had passed the 3 contentious laws in September 2020, saying they were aimed at “modernising” agriculture. The government claimed the legislation would benefit the farmers by increasing their income and giving them more choices when selling their produce. But farmers’ unions said the laws would enable a few private corporations to control India’s vast agriculture sector and deny the growers a minimum support price (MSP) assured by the government for their produce.

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