Exploring the Roots of India’s Farmer Protests

Photo Credit: Cambridge Globalist and licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

By Harshita Chitti Rao Devavarapu
Contributing Writer 

Known for its size and diversity, India is one of the largest countries in South Asia and the largest democracy in the world. Despite having a multitude of cultures, languages and lifestyles, one commonality that unites the multiple strands of Indian identity is the economic enterprise of agriculture. Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for the Indian population and the harvest is celebrated through various festivals by all religions and cultures. Producing legumes, jute, spices, rice, sugarcane and many more crops, 70% of rural households are dependent on agriculture while 82% of farmers are small scale marginal farmers.

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Undervalued Yet Undeterred: Indian Farmers Protest Continues

Photo by Randeep Maddoke from Wikimedia Commons

By Isana Raja
Staff Writer

Since August of 2020, thousands of farmers across India have taken to the streets in protest. Sleeping on the side of the road in their tractors, enduring the cold, rain, and retaliation from police, has not deterred these farmers. Though the heart of these demonstrations is located in the capital of New Delhi, the movement has permeated every major city. The Indian Farmers Protest started as a few small-scale protests in the state of Punjab. It only took a month for farmers unions across the various states of India to join in on the demonstrations, marching in solidarity to Delhi. The movement calls for the repealment of three agriculture laws passed by Prime Minister Modi in September. The protesters believe these agricultural reforms aim to prioritize corporate interests, in turn, hurting small farmers and their livelihoods. 

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COVID-19 and the Deepening of Federalism in India

Linguistic map of India. Image used under Creative Commons License.

By Siddharth
Graduate Fellow Editor

Winston Churchill once advised to never let a good crisis go to waste. In the same vein, the present COVID-19 pandemic is a great opportunity for India to utilize this crisis by presenting itself as an alternative to China in the manufacturing sector. However, under the radar of the news broadcasting focused on COVID-19, there is another ongoing phenomenon manifesting itself in the Indian polity which is going unnoticed—deepening of Federalism in India. 

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