Over 100,000 farmers have taken to the streets of India’s capital, New Delhi, in protest of several new policies passed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). Groups protesting the Modi regime have persisted throughout the year, however, after passing a few pro-capitalist policies that have devastated smaller farmers, massive protests have begun. Many farmers’ unions have even called for a general strike. Today protesters block off major roads into New Delhi.
The general strike, which has participants in the millions, began in late November with very specific demands including the reversal of the anti-worker laws, compensation for smaller farms, and 10 kilograms of food for impoverished families.
The policies passed in September are a mere tipping point for the Indian workers and Narendra Modi’s right-wing regime.
Since Modi returned as prime minister in 2019, he has consistently sided with large corporations, the new policies being no exception. The policies also allow for high-income farmers to sell directly to private sellers before food is even produced, and end the government-owned agricultural market that accounted for a majority of poverty-stricken farms’ total income.
The government tried to pass the laws under the radar amidst the coronavirus pandemic news, in which India surpassed Brazil with the second-most cases in the world (they are about 4 million cases behind the United States). They have failed in their attempts, effectively agitating the people to take much larger action.