“Biggest protest in Indian history continues as it completes 200 days,” says farmers group

Photo: Meer Faisal/Maktoob

It has been 200 days since farmers from across Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh rose in an historic protest against three agriculture laws rushed through hastily in Parliament by the Narendra Modi government.

The demonstrations at Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur borders in the national capital New Delhi reached a significant milestone on Monday when they completed 200 days and received support from India’s Opposition parties, social activists, artists as well as locals.

On 200th day of historic protests, Kisan Ekta Morcha, a farmers’ collective, tweeted that the “biggest protest in Indian history continues as it completes 200 days”.

According to Morcha, the farmers are leading an “immense fight conquering over all the hurdles, insults, tortures, harassments of Narendra Modi government.”

The collective of protesting farmers also said they are “all set for a prolonged protest until 3 black farm laws repealed.”

On Friday, the protesting farmer unions announced that they will organise sit-ins at governor houses across the country on 26 June.

On that day farmers will show black flags and send memorandums to President Ram Nath Kovind.

June 26 will mark the completion of seven months of the protest.

“We will protest by showing black flags at Raj Bhavans and giving memorandum to the President through the governor of each state, who is the President’s representative. June 26 is also the day when Emergency was declared in 1975 and we will complete seven months of our protest. Along with farming, the democratic rights of the people have also been attacked in this environment of dictatorship. This is an undeclared emergency,” Farmer leader Inderjit Singh of Samyukta Kisan Morcha told a press conference.

With the ongoing farmers’ agitation in and around the national capital in its 200th day, more than 505 farmers linked to the protests have passed away, according to a blog, Human Cost of Farmers Protest.

This data has been collected from November 26, 2020, to 13 June this year.

Since November 26, tens of thousands of farmers have camped at three different locations around the capital, demanding the government withdraw the laws protesters say put them at the mercy of private companies and destroy their livelihoods.

The new laws would create monopolies in the grain markets and trap farmers into contract farming arrangements with corporate buyers.

Multiple rounds of talks between the Centre and the farmers’ union leaders have ended in a stalemate.