Indian diaspora supports farmers’ protest in India

Voices against the farm laws & use of force from around the world

Diaspora

December 5, 2020

/ By / New Delhi

Indian diaspora supports farmers’ protest in India

Farmers' protest in various states of India and notably around Delhi has attracted attention all around the world

A large number of people from Indian diaspora have come forward in support of the protesting farmers in their native country with activism, digital campaigns and donations.

The ongoing farmers protest in various states of India and notably around Delhi has attracted attention all around the world with comments from a range of leaders like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres who have defended farmers’ right to protest.

The movement has also received surprising among of support from Indian diaspora, normally extremely supportive of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a variety of issues.

Millions of persons of Indian origin have been signing online petitions to express solidarity and demand justice for the protesting farmers. Indians living in several nations like the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom have pledged their support to their brethren from afar.

Against brutal use of force on farmers                                      

Canadian defence minister Harjit Sajjan, a Sikh of Indian origin, and others lawmakers from Canada and the UK, many of them persons of Indian origin, have also spoken out in support of Indian farmers and against the usage of force and manipulation by India’s central government to dismantle and discredit the protest.

“The reports of peaceful protesters being brutalized in India are very troubling. Many of my constituents have family there and are worried about the safety of their loved ones. Healthy democracies allow peaceful protest. I urge those involved to uphold this fundamental right,” wrote Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.

support of indian farmers

Persons of Indian origin have also spoken out in support of Indian farmers and against the usage of force and manipulation by India’s central government to dismantle and discredit the protest (MIG Photos)

Another Punjabi Canadian MP Sukh Dhaliwal writes “The right to peaceful protest is fundamental in any democracy, especially in the world’s largest. I am very disturbed by the treatment of Punjabi farmers in India- this blatant abuse by Indian authorities is unacceptable. I stand with the Punjab farmers”.

Amid the protests, several heart-wrenching images of elderly farmers being attacked have gone viral. The violence fuelled images have tugged at the heartstrings of millions of Indians both at home and abroad

The brutal assaults on the Punjab farmers by the BJP-led Haryana government under the prime ministership of Narendra Modi have evoked strong reactions. The NRIs and PIOs have strongly condemned the use of force, teargas, water cannons and various other hurdles created by the Haryana and Delhi police for the Punjab farmers heading to Delhi as part of their ‘Delhi Chalo’ campaign. The social media has been flooded with comments by NRIs condemning the treatment given to the farmers by the Modi government.

“The Indian govt’s use of water cannons and tear gas on farmers protesting mass privatisation of the agricultural sector and unjust reform of farming laws is appalling. They deserve respect for feeding the nation instead of being subjected to state brutality,” said Gurratan Singh, an anti-racism activist in Canada.

Worried over brutality towards the Punjab farmers, executive chairman of ‘World Financial Group’, Canada, Raja Dhaliwal and his team donated USD 2.5 million as help and contribution in langar (community kitchen) to the farmers.

Digital activism in support of farmers

The cyberspace is abuzz with links for protest petitions being shared in the UK, Canada, Australia and the US in favour of the farmers’ agitation against three farm laws. Over the last few days, over two million people have signed petitions demanding justice for the farmers. The rapidly growing petitions have in fact been started by Indian nationals living in the UK, Canada and the US.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau & United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres have defended farmers’ right to protest

A large part of Indian diaspora in these countries comprises Sikhs from India’s Punjab province, which also happens to be the nucleus of the ongoing farmers’ agitation. The biggest petition among these was started by the American Sikh Council and has been signed by over 50,000 people over the last three days.

“The backbone, sweat and tears of our farmers have fed millions and raised generations of Indians. Without whom, millions would have starved and generations would have never left the country,” reads the petition by American Sikh Council.

As of December 5, thousands of farmers including men, women of all age groups are still camped on the Singhu and Tikri borders on the outskirts of Delhi. After the failed attempts of arriving at any conclusion or middle ground, talks are still going on between the central government and farmer leaders in the capital.

Meanwhile, the support for the farmers as well as the criticism of the government, for bringing in the laws as well as for their rough handling of the protestors and attempts to defame the demonstrations, may well continue to snowball and is likely to draw in other global leaders, in mounting embarrassment for Modi government.

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