New Delhi (AP) – Thousands of farmers took out a convoy of tractors in the Indian capital as the nation celebrated Republic Day on Tuesday in the backdrop of agrarian protests that turned into a rebellion and baffled the government.
Flags of Indian tableaux and farm unions were flocked on the streets of the capital by rows of trains. The peasants, wearing distinctive colored turban, raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and called them “black laws”. Thousands of people walked on foot during the dance and singing, and at one place they were bathed with flower petals by the residents, some of whom recorded an unprecedented rally on their phones.
“We want to show our strength to Modi,” said Satpal Singh, a farmer who marched in the capital on a tractor with a family of five. “We will not surrender.”
Police in riot gear used tear gas and water cannon at two locations to repel protesters who tried to knock out the barricade. Authorities stopped several trucks on several routes so that farmers would not march to the interiors of the capital.
Farmer leaders said more than 10,000 tractors were to march through the capital for the rally and thousands of volunteers would try to help the police in keeping order.
Protests were sparked by new agricultural laws passed by Parliament in September. The Modi government insists that the laws will benefit farmers and increase production through private investment, but farmers fear that the commercialization and commercialization of agriculture will ruin their earnings.
The farmers first tried to march to New Delhi in November but were stopped by the police. Since then, unaffected by the overnight cold winter temperatures, they have come down with supplies of food and fuel and threatened to besiege the capital until farm laws are repealed.
The government has offered to amend the laws and suspend their implementation for 18 months. But the farmers insist that they are nothing short of complete repeal. They plan a foot march in the Indian Parliament on 1 February, when the country’s new budget will be presented.
The tractor rally also oversaw the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi, as the annual military parade was cut short due to a coronovirus epidemic.
A thin crowd gathered near the ceremonial Rajpath in New Delhi to witness the country’s military strength and cultural diversity. People wore masks and followed social distinctions as police and military battalions marched along the parade route. Many states displayed their tableaux to present their culture and the military displayed its latest equipment during the parade.
Republic Day is the anniversary of the adoption of the country’s constitution on 26 January 1950.
The peasants are the latest group to disturb the image of Modi’s dominance of imperialism in Indian politics.
Since returning to power for a second consecutive term, Modi’s government has marked several flaws. The economy has changed, social conflicts have increased, protests have been held against discriminatory laws, and the response to the epidemic has been questioned by his government. In 2019, he brought a coalition of diverse and disparate sets: minorities and chiefs, rights activists and journalists, communists and socialists, students and teachers, including the once defunct opposition, to form a popular march against a controversial new citizenship law Discriminated against Muslims.
Now, as farmers, they are facing rebellion from India’s most influential voting bloc.
Agriculture supports more than half of the country’s 1.4 billion people. But in the last three decades, the economic dominance of the farmers has decreased. Once accounting for one-third of India’s GDP, farmers now own only 15% of the country’s $ 2.9 trillion economy.
According to official records, more than half of the farmers are in debt, with 20,638 people killed in 2018 and 2019.
The controversial law has increased the current resentment of farmers, who have long been seen as the heart and soul of India, but often complain of being ignored by the government.
Modi has dismissed the apprehensions of most farmers and tried to allay their fears and accused the opposition parties of repeatedly agitating by spreading rumors. Some leaders of his party have called farmers “anti-nationals”, often given to people criticizing Modi or his policies.
Agriculture expert Devinder Sharma, who has been campaigning for income equality for Indian farmers for the last two decades, said that he was not only opposing reforms but was challenging the overall economic design of the country.
Sharma said, “The anger you are seeing is anger.” “Inequality is increasing in India and farmers are becoming poorer. Policy planners have failed to realize this and have sucked income from bottom to top. Farmers are demanding only what is their right. “