Farmers Demand More Rights

  • January 21, 2021

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Since September, farmers from Punjab and Haryana have been protesting in Delhi, India. Miles from their homes and family, they sleep on the ground in the winter insistent about being heard. 

 

“I’m 60 years old, they have tortured me with water cannons and tear gas shells,” said Mr. Singh, a farmer who was present at the protest in Delhi, India.

In September the Parliament of India affirmed three laws:

  1. The Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill 

    2. Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farms Services Bill 

    3. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill

Essentially, the farmers fear that the privately owned businesses will pay them exceptionally less. These laws will permit private markets to be operated without any taxes and, with the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APSM) markets having taxes on them, the private markets and the private business owners would exploit the farmers without giving them the minimum wage. 

 

To support these farmers, many individuals are assembling to protest. There have been protests and rallies in America, Canada, Australia and England. For their part, The Gurdwara Singh Sabha (Sikh Temple) in Buena Park has also arranged two rallies. 

 

The first one was on Sunday, December 13, 2020. It started at the Gurdwara, Buena Park. When asked what the protest was like, senior Navneet Kaur explained, “People were very enthusiastic, everyone was wearing their masks, and it was great seeing people from our community getting together to support our people back in India.”

 

The other rally took place on Sunday, December 20, 2020 and it began at Cerritos College, Norwalk. Senior Paramveer Singh present at the second rally said, “It was an amazing peaceful protest. It inspired me to support the farmers back in my homeland Punjab.”

 

People from Artesia, Norwalk, Cerritos, Buena Park and other neighbouring cities had joined the rallies. The first rally had 500-600 cars and the second rally had about 7000 cars. A sophomore, Simrat Johal from Cypress High School says, “I was really happy when I saw people come together to show their support and I will definitely go if there is another rally to show my support.”

 

“Everyone present at these rallies was there to support our farmers in India, we want the Indian government to repeal these laws and give farmers what they deserve,” says Mr. Nirmal Singh, the President of Gurdwara Singh Sabah, Buena Park. 

 

Mr. Satinder Singh, a member of the Gurdwara committee said, “We are just waiting on the Indian government to answer. We also don’t want people to be wasting their time on the roads...if the government doesn’t answer next time we will protest in front of the Indian Embassy, so the seated representatives will have to answer.”