India

Women lead protests in Punjab against controversial farm bills

Photo Courtesy: Twitter

College students, school dropouts, all women at the forefront

Punjab: As protests against controversial farm bills passed by the parliament continue in parts of India, the demonstrations in Punjab state were led by women.

At the forefront, there were two 20-year-old college students, a 33-year-old activist, and a teenage school dropout — all women, who raised anti-governmental slogans against the newly introduced law.

Ever since the farm bills were passed, Punjab is witnessing huge protests by farmers under All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee.

The protestors comprising mostly of male farmers were addressed by the women critiquing the agricultural policies of the Government of India.

According to a report by Indian Express, thousands of protestors blocked roads and highways in several states of India and the epicentre of the protests was in Haryana and Punjab.

These protestors were supported by the opposition political parties and 10 trade unions of India.

The farmers fear that new legislation will lead to the destruction of the minimum support price regime and they’ll be at the mercy of corporates.

As per the report, young people in Punjab questioned the efficacy behind the bill saying that they understood what the bill was about and if people do not have a problem with the commission agents (arhatiyas), why does the government have?

A young woman, according to report, while raising slogans of “revolution” claimed that revolution is born on the land of Punjab and history changes when Punjab awakens.

The three bills that were passed are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill.

The farm bill is a package of legislation passed roughly once every five years, which has a tremendous impact on farming livelihoods, how food is grown, and what kinds of foods are grown. Covering programs ranging from crop insurance for farmers to healthy food access for low-income families, from beginning farmer training to support for sustainable farming practices, the farm bill sets the stage for the food and farm systems.

 

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