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International Celebs Bring India’s Farmers Protest Into Spotlight

Image Courtesy: Rediff


From Rihanna to Greta Thunberg, Eight International Celebrities came out in support of Farmers Protest that has brought international attention to this issue.
Here are some of their tweets –

Rihanna

2. Greta Thunberg

3. Mia Khalifa

What’s the actual issue?


Farmers demand:


1. A roll back of all three ordinances
2. Mandi System protection
3.  Loans to be cleared
4. A national law should be made for MSP to be atleast 50 percent more than the weighted average cost of production

The Minimum Support Price (MSP)  is an agricultural product price set by the Government of India. MSP would only be given if they sell in the regulated Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APEC  Mandis) .

As stated by the ordinances, the areas outside these APMCs  will have no taxes on sale or purchase. The farmers allege that if the government make sale and purchase outside the mandis more attractive, then this would pose a huge disadvantage for the farmers since outside these mandis there is no MSP, no one to regulate and to ensure that farmers are treated fairly and are not exploited.

When the Mandi System collapse,then obviously, the MSP that was assured to the farmers would also decline gradually.

It is actually a issue about Free markets vs Regulated markets, which is not only seen in India but also in many developed countries.  Like , France and America also face rise in farmers suicide and these countries are undergoing an agricultural crisis. Since 1960s, the farmers income in America has witnessed a steep decline.The farmers are at the worst hit because of the monopoly of the major multinational companies.

Here in India, the farmers are demanding the above stated points,because they believe that if these laws are applied,then the mega private companies would monopolize the agricultural sector gradually over time. The procurement of the crops would come under the ambit of these companies and the farmers would be paid lesser than what they are paid today.

WHY IN HIGHLIGHTS?

Ever since, these bills have become law, farmers have been protesting in different ways.

The Government tried their utmost to stop every farmer protest. Like recently, Internet suspension at Singhu,Ghazipur and Tikri- the three locations bordering Delhi where farmers groups continue to protest against the farm laws. The “Dilli Chalo” march against the government was faced by barricades , water cannons and tear gas. They literally at one place, dug up the highway to prevent the farmers to cross it. Section 144 was imposed in many places in Haryana. Bus services were suspended. More than 500 farmers were arrested  and more than 100 farm union members were being arrested. In Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP government is in power, the farmers were not allowed to gather and protest. The UP Government even put a stop on the printing of the pamphlets and posters that were in favour of the protests. This is the extent to which government tried to physically stop the farmers but it was not possible to physically stop them. Farmers are extremely dedicated and determined. They climbed the barricades, in places where the highway had been dug up,they made use of their hands and some tools to fill it up so they could walk over it and even turned off the water cannons . The government has pressed charges of attempt to murder on the person who jumped onto vehicles to turn off the water cannons. What else you expect from the poor Government!

Role of Indian Media :-

Try to recall the important role that was played by the media in the anti corruption movement led by Anna Hazare in 2011-12 in emboldening of the voice of the protestors and raising their voice in favour of the common man.

Today, the media is so sold out that it is playing the opposite role. It might have been the same back then,but the extent to which it is sold out today has crossed all limits. Instead of bolstering the demands of the protestors, the media is busy in defaming the protestors. Farmers are being branded with different names such as ‘Khalistani, Urban naxals and Congress funded’.

Zee News was running a hashtag  #FarmersProtestHijacked and #AandolanMeinKhalistan and implied that it is being supported by ‘Khalistani people’.

Times Now was running a hashtag #KisanKanoonClash and said that opposition is ‘inciting the farmers’ and blamed the farmers for being responsible for another mass gathering that could lead to COVID increase.

CNN News termed Dilli Chalo a ‘war cry’ and asked “Who is misleading farmers?”

In News18 India, Amish Devgan’s  prime time show carried taglines such as “Has the Congress incited the farmers?”. The same was done by Arnab Goswami on Republic TV. 

Infact the word ‘mislead’ was used very frequently on every news channel.

This all in reality is leading to the fall of democracy in the entire country.

‘The Economist” magazine shows that the the Index of freedom of expression,civil liberties,academic freedom and rule of law in the country – have all seen India’s rank dropping after 2014. Infact ,the situation is so dire today that they are comparable to the state that was prevalent under Indira Gandhi during emergency.
Global Watchdog Human Rights Watch also stated that the Government of India’s Prime Minister Modi is presiding over a dangerous regression in free speech rights in pursuit of its Hindu nationalist agenda.

Thus it’s the matter of great concern and is essential for you to understand because tomorrow,if you question the government or protest against them for whatever reason then their machinery- the sold media,their IT cell and their supporters will discredit you the same way.


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