Kerela: A twenty-two-year-old student from Kerala has begun cycling from his state to Jammu and Kashmir in solidarity with the farmers protesting at Delhi borders against three farm laws introduced by the Government of India (GoI) in September 2020.
Jibin George, a second-year hotel management student at Rajadhani Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology (RIHMCT) in Kerela, is starting his journey from Thiruvananthapuram and cycling all the way to JK, reports said, adding he is also going to join the farmers’ protest at Delhi’s borders.
George, who began his journey on January 7, is also going to focus on spreading awareness on the farmers’ issue among the public throughout his journey.
“I noticed that people in the southern states were least bothered about these issues and many were ignorant. I decided to go on an all-India cycle expedition to create awareness about the protesting farmers and their concerns,” The New Indian Express quoted Jibin as saying.
“Farmers are the backbone of our nation and they need our respect, not our sympathy. During the ride, I will be sharing information on the new farm laws and will be speaking to the public about how the Centre’s new laws are going to affect the farmers,” he added.
The young man plans to stick to coastal roads till he reaches Goa. “From Maharashtra, I’ll be exploring places more thoroughly and then head to the protesting farmers in Delhi,” he told The News Minute. His journey will end in JK.
According to George, he has been welcomed by people positively so far.
Pertinently, in a major blow to the Government of India, Supreme Court on January 12, 2020, put on hold the farm laws and said that a committee of agricultural experts would be formed to take over negotiations with farmers to end the crisis.
Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde said: “We are staying three farm laws until further orders.”
Earlier, GoI had told the top court that the laws “were not hurriedly made”, that they were the result of two decades of deliberations.
So far, despite the eight-round of talks that GoI claims it had with the farmers’ unions have yielded no results.
The Supreme Court said it was trying to solve the problem in the best way and had the power to suspend the laws.
“These are matters of life and death. We are concerned with laws. We are concerned with the lives and property of people affected by the agitation. We are trying to solve the problem in the best way. One of the powers we have is to suspend the legislation,” the Chief Justice said.
“We want to solve the problem and that’s why we are making the committee. Give the names to us, we will decide,” he added.
The top court also issued notice to farmers’ unions on a Delhi Police plea to stop a tractor rally during the January 26 Republic Day parade.
The judges rebuffed the lawyer for protesting farmers, ML Sharma, as he said farmers would not participate in the committee as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had refused to talk to them. “We cannot ask the PM anything, he is not a party before us,” said the Chief Justice.
Meanwhile, various political parties and other organizations have welcomed the move and praised the top court for the ‘important’ decision.
Earlier, it asked the GoI whether it would pause the implementation of three controversial farm laws at the core of massive farmer protests near Delhi, saying the situation had gone worse. “Tell us whether you will put the laws on hold or else we will do it. What’s the ego here?”
The court’s sharp remarks came during a hearing on petitions challenging the farm laws and the farmer agitation at the Delhi borders.