As we are broadcasting today, and despite the threat of COVID, hundreds of thousands of Sikh and other Indian farmers are protesting in the nation’s capital New Delhi. In this largest organized protest in world history, over 250 million farmers, workers, and their allies are demanding the government to rescind the neoliberal “reform” laws that will basically hand over farming to agribusinesses, thereby destroying the livelihoods of more than half of 1.3 billion Indian people who depend on agriculture.
|Women protesting against farm bills|
The so-called reform is aimed at workers in general as well. The protesters are also demanding that Prime Minister Modi rescind a diabolical new law that basically criminalizes dissent and opposition to the government. Yet another threat to democracy in India and worldwide. The violation of Sikh people’s land, rights, and dignity is part of the Indian caste system and has a long history.
Margo Okazawa-Rey produced today’s show with Jagmit Kaur Dhami, one of the youth leaders in the Sikh Indian diaspora organizing to support the farmers movement. She is a second-generation Punjabi American from Bellingham, WA and a recent graduate of Occidental College. Her roots as a Punjabi and Sikh make her incredibly passionate about the Kisaan Ekta movement. Her parents were farmers in Punjab and she has family currently in India who would be directly affected by the new laws. Jagmit sees social justice, identity, and storytelling as avenues to uplift voice and create change. I agree!
Video overview of protest in India: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CIjDeIrp_xN/?igshid=1dq84ev8lx7uk
Thread describing more in detail the situation: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIQagMrBhJj/
Actions to take:
Email US Congress members to condemn the human rights violations in India: bit.ly/farmers-protest
Text to send emails:
Instagrams to follow with more info: