• Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Would it be appropriate to call this new farmer protest “Farmer Protest 2.0”?

First the farmer protest began in 2020, and farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh collectively initiated this protest. And this was the reason for this protest.”The movement gained momentum primarily due to the contentious farm laws passed by the Indian government in September 2020, sparking widespread discontent among farmers.The three contentious laws – the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance, and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act – aimed at liberalizing agricultural trade and fostering private investment in farming. However, many farmers feared that these laws would dismantle the existing Minimum Support Price (MSP) system and leave them vulnerable to exploitation by big corporations.The protest, which originated mainly from the northern states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, soon spread across the country, with farmers from various states joining hands in solidarity. What began as peaceful demonstrations soon turned into a protracted standoff between farmers and the government.

Despite several rounds of negotiations between farmer unions and the government, a resolution remained elusive. The farmers demanded the repeal of the contentious laws and the enactment of a legal guarantee for MSP. However, the government remained steadfast in its stance, offering only temporary suspension of the laws.

The protest garnered widespread support, both domestically and internationally, with celebrities, activists, and global personalities expressing solidarity with the farmers. Social media played a crucial role in amplifying the voices of protesters and mobilizing support for their cause.

The protest also witnessed instances of violence and clashes with authorities, leading to tragic casualties and arrests. However, the resilience and determination of the farmers remained unwavering, as they continued to camp at the borders of Delhi, braving harsh weather conditions and adversities.

So, this new farmer protest is not a continuation of the previous farmer protest because many unions like SKM (Samyukt Kisan Morcha) are not part of it. Around 250 or more smaller and larger farmer unions have come together to form a new banner called “Kisan Mazdoor Morcha,” and this new protest is being led primarily by Punjab, along with farmers from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. In this new farmer protest, apart from MSP (Minimum Support Price), all other demands are new.

Referring to a new wave or iteration of farmer protests as “Farmer Protest 2.0” can be a way to distinguish it from previous protests or signify its evolution. However, whether it’s “right” depends on context and how accurately it reflects the nature and goals of the current protests. It’s essential to consider the specific circumstances and dynamics of the protests before applying such a label.

(The article is solely the opinion of the author. The views expressed here are solely personal and not in any way connected to any organisation or any political party).

Babli Kalita

Student of Journalism and Mass Communication,Dibrugarh University of Assam.

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