For the past two months, India has become heavily divided. After three farm bills passed by the Indian Government took effect, citizens began to peacefully protest around New Delhi.
The farm bills that were enacted were meant to remove restrictions on farming so that the market would be open to big corporations. As a result of these bills, the farmers’ crops will be sold for far less than what they are worth.
Farmers in India have already suffered from increasing amounts of debt, leading to high rates of suicide. The bills passed will only worsen these already occurring problems. Farmers, supporters, and protesters are all fighting for these bills to be revoked so that the hard work of farmers isn’t neglected by these larger corporations.
Despite peacefully protesting and simply standing up for their rights, the Indian government has only responded with violence and disagreement. At the border, they’ve approached peaceful protesters with water cannons, sticks, and many other violent weapons.
Harsimar Kaur is a sophomore nursing student at Rutgers Camden and an active peaceful protester. Kaur is president of Rutgers-Camden’s Sikh Student Association club known as SSA. After speaking with Kaur, it was clear how passionate she was about the movement.
“How can you sit comfortably when your parents and grandparents are fighting for their lives, their culture, and for future generations,” Kaur said, explaining her drive to get involved.
Kaur further expressed the importance of peaceful protesting as she stated, “We are their voice, we are to amplify their struggles. Protesting has been an art of history, it sparks conversation.”
Juggling school during challenging times is difficult, especially when your people are hurting. “During classes, the information goes from one ear and out to the next because my mind is elsewhere,” said Kaur.
What started as a small number of farmers and supporters has now expanded worldwide. Protests have taken place outside of India, celebrities have spoken out on the movement, and more people continue to grow aware each day.
Car rallies have taken place in major cities such as Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, and many more. Throughout these protests, communities have come together with signs and passion to raise awareness for their people.
The power of social media is stronger than most realize. A simple repost or share on social media can help spread awareness about what’s taking place in India. More ways to help include donating to organizations and using the Instagram hashtag #nomorefarmersnomorefood, #kisaanektazindabad (giving justice to farmers), and #standwithfarmers.
Many of the protestors and supporters feel the hard work and dedication of farmers in India are being ignored and neglected. They want the world to know that farmers deserve to be fought for, and their cause heard.