NEW DELHI (AP) — In a major reversal, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Friday that he would repeal the controversial agriculture laws that sparked yearlong protests from tens of thousands of farmers and posed a significant challenge to his administration.
"Wearing bright yellow scarves representing the colour of mustard fields, the women took centrestage at one key site, chanting slogans, holding small marches, and making speeches through loudspeakers to target the laws."
In a full-page ad in the Toronto Star on February 27, labour, community and civil society organizations in Canada and elsewhere expressed their support for India’s farmers. This Declaration of Solidarity comes at a time when thousands of farmers in India have been engaged for months in the largest and longest sustained non-violent resistance movement in Indian and possibly world history, surpassing Mahatma Gandhi’s historic 1930 Dandi March against the abhorrent British colonial Salt Law. The Declaration is part of a growing movement outside India to demonstrate that the world is watching and that we are firmly behind the farmers and their struggle to survive.
Activists and organizations in India and abroad have condemned the arrest of Disha Ravi, a 21-year-old climate activist from the city of Bengaluru in India, whose crime seems to have been circulating campaign material in solidarity with the ongoing farmers’ protest. Among the charges leveled in the case are sedition, criminal conspiracy and promoting hatred, according to media reports.
Spectre Journal – The old regime of the Green Revolution is dying, while a new, more baleful, cycle of agrarian capitalism is waiting to be born. In this interregnum, there has emerged a spectacular groundswell of anti-capitalist resistance by farmers and agrarian workers.
As lakhs of farmers continue their protest against the new farm legislations introduced by the Modi government, a remarkable number of women are not only braving the rough weather by participating in these demonstrations but are also leading from the front.
In the previous part of this article we saw that the Indian rulers are actively preparing the legal groundwork for parting peasants from their land. In the following part we place this in an international context.
The world economy is witnessing an intensifying drive by international investors to get control of land, including agricultural land, in the Third World. Why is this so?
Over the last two decades, international agencies and the Indian government have explicitly been preparing the ground for transfer of the lands of poor peasants. They term this the creation of “vibrant land sales markets” for farmers who “find their lands too small to be a viable source of livelihood.” In pursuit of this aim, the Indian government is trying to establish a system of ‘conclusive titling’ of all land in the country, whereby the State would permanently guarantee the title of the title-holder against any other claimants.
Vijay Prashad | In Ecuador, the oligarchy used the techniques of the guerra jurídica (‘legal war’) to delegitimise the entire left, especially former president Rafael Correa (2007-2017). Correa was accused of bribery – with the bizarre notion of ‘psychic influence’ (influjo psíquico) at the root of the case. He was handed down an eight-year sentence which prevented him from running for office in Ecuador.
The farmers’ movement in India is making history as it is one the largest protests in the world. India is still a developing country. More than 65% of people depend on agriculture. Indian agriculture has been in crisis for a long time. Thousands of farmers commit suicide each year. This is not a profitable business. This is a way of life for their livelihood.
Utsa Patnaik | The farmers’ movement for the repeal of the three farm laws which affect them closely but have been rammed through without consulting them, has now entered its second month. It is of historic significance. It is not just about minimum support prices but also about the survival of the entire system of public procurement and distribution of foodgrains. Without ensuring the economic viability of foodgrains production in North India — the grain basket of the country — no continuity can be ensured for the public procurement and distribution system, which, despite its drawbacks, continues to provide a modicum of food security to vast numbers of our population.
India has ordered all public and private sector employees use a government-backed contact tracing app and maintain social distancing in offices as it begins easing some of its lockdown measures in districts less affected by the coronavirus.