In solidarity with farmers’ protests in India
We in APMDD stand in solidarity with the tens of thousands of farmers in India who have been mobilizing for many days now in one of the most massive and dramatic sustained protest actions in Asia in recent years, to fight against elite interests and corporate greed and Modi’s New Agricultural Laws.
We in APMDD stand in solidarity with the tens of thousands of farmers in India who have been mobilizing for many days now in one of the most massive and dramatic sustained protest actions in Asia in recent years, to fight against elite interests and corporate greed and Modi’s New Agricultural Laws. Braving threats to life and limb, they have clearly drawn the line between a handful that continue to pursue profit, and the mass of humanity hanging by a thread on the brink of survival especially in COVID times.
The Modi government again shows where its loyalties really lie by enacting three farm bills that overall, protect and advance private interests over those of its people. By ushering measures that remove price safeguards, it is practically offering up India’s farmers to be held captive by private investors and corporations. As captured in the words of a Punjabi farmer: “The government has left us at the mercy of big corporations.”
The depths by which millions of smallholder farmers will be driven down even farther into misery is powerfully evident in their fierce resistance. They are already among the most impoverished and desperate in the country even before the pandemic. Mostly owning less than two hectares of land each, they sink deeper in debt and poverty as they turn to moneylenders charging as high as 60% interest annually for increasingly higher priced farm inputs.
State violence in various forms has been the Modi government’s response. Marches of farmers were stopped by police, dispersed with tear gas and water cannons.
These images reverberate across Asia where many other countries of the South are witness to neoliberal elite rule and the impunity of corporations. Entire sectors of agriculture and industry are being laid bare to exploitation on even greater scales. Whole populations are being dispossessed of their resources, both human and environmental, in the unhampered pursuit of profit and wealth accumulation by elites and corporations.
In these dark times, solidarity within and across countries is even more urgently needed. Know that we are one with you in your struggle for survival, and in fighting for a present and a future where people and the planet come first before private gain.