Understanding the Farmers' Protest 2024 

14 Feb 2024  Read 2528 Views

Remember in 2020-2021, when Delhi became the stage for a massive protest by farmers? Farmers from various states joined hands to protest against the central government for introducing three new farm laws. 

Fast forward to today, and the farmers are again protesting, demanding more changes and reforms. But why? Why are farmers protesting? And why is it happening in Delhi? Don't worry; we'll break it down for you in simple terms.

'Delhi Chalo 2.0' March: Why are Farmers Protesting in Delhi?

You might wonder why farmers are protesting in Delhi specifically. Well, Delhi is not just the capital; it's also the political hub where decisions are made. More than 200 farmers have organised the 'Delhi Chalo 2.0' march to draw attention to their cause and pressure the government to listen to their demands. Read this if you want to know the details of the 2020 Delhi Chalo Protest by farmers. 

What are Farmers' Demands?

The farmers, especially from states like Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, are protesting to make the government agree to their list of requests. Farmers' demands include:

  1. A law that guarantees a minimum price for their crops (MSP); 

  2. Government to follow the suggestions of the Dr. M. S. Swaminathan Commission Report. This report recommends reforms in agriculture, including better market access and loan waivers;

  3. Give pensions to farmers and farm workers and forgive their farm debts; 

  4. Punishment for the offenders of October 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri incident;

  5. Implementation of the Land Acquisition Act of 2013, with provisions for written consent from farmers before their land is taken;

  6. Withdrawal from the World Trade Organization and stop making any new trade deals;

  7. Compensation for those who died during the protest in Delhi in 2020-21, and they want one family member to get a job;

  8. Electricity Amendment Bill of 2020 to be scrapped;

  9. More days of work under MGNREGA, a government work program, and they want to get paid more each day; 

  10. Strict punishments for companies that make fake seeds, pesticides, or fertilisers;

  11. Setup of National Commission for spices like chilli and turmeric.

Sourced from: BBC News, Economics Times, Business Today

What is the Swaminathan Commission Report?

  • The five reports were submitted by the National Commission on Farmers from December 2004 to October 2006, also known as the Swaminathan Report. This commission was headed by Prof M.S.Swaminathan. 
  • The Swaminathan Report talks about key recommendations to help farmers, like the productivity of agriculture, irrigation, employment, food security, credit, and insurance.
  • The Swaminathan Commission Report says the government should increase the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops by at least 50% more than the cost of production. This cost includes things like capital and land rent, giving farmers a fair profit of 50%. 

Government's Approach to Farmers' Demand

While the farmers are on strike, the Union Government is taking a two-pronged approach. 

  1. Three Union ministers, Piyush Goyal, Nityanand Rai, and Arjun Munda, went to Chandigarh for discussions with farmer leaders. Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is acting as a mediator between the Centre government and the farmers. He has promised the farmer leaders that he will work to convince the Centre government to accept and act on the farmers' demands.

  2. Even though discussions are happening, the farmer leaders went ahead with their plan to march to Delhi. Because of this, the government is making sure that there are more guards at the borders of Delhi and the Punjab-Haryana border. The police in Ambala, a place near where the two states meet, have told farmers not to join the protest or they might get into big trouble. The government is also warning they might cease the farmer leaders' bank accounts and take away their land.

Flashback: 2020-2021 Indian Farmers' Protest

In 2020-2021, India saw a huge protest by farmers, forcing the central govt to revoke three controversial farm laws, namely the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act were passed in 2020. 

These laws let farmers sell their crops straight to big buyers and made it easier for them to make contracts with companies. Farmers were concerned that if these laws stayed, they might lose the MSP, which is a sure price for their crops. They think that if big companies take over, they might not get fair crop prices. Also, they worry that doing contracts might make them lose their power to bargain and even their land.

Farmers protested against the government's new laws. Because of their protests, the government made a significant announcement, bringing an end to the thirteen-month-long farmers' agitation on the borders of Delhi by repealing the three contentious farm laws.

You can read more about this protest here!

How does the Current Protest Differ from Farmers' Protest 2020?

How does the Current Protest Differs from Farmers' Protest 2020?

Conclusion

From the repeal of controversial laws to the demands for fair prices, pensions, and justice for the fallen, farmers' struggle continues. The 'Delhi Chalo 2.0 march' isn't just a walk; it's about demanding fairness and change. While the government and farmers talk, everyone hopes for a fair solution that respects the hard work of those who feed us.

About the Author: Anirudh Nikhare | 29 Post(s)

Anirudh did his Bachelor's in Law and has practical experience in IPR, Contracts, and Corporate. He is your go-to legal content writer turning head-scratching legal topics into easy-to-understand gems of wisdom. Through his blog, he aims to empower readers with knowledge, making legal concepts digestible and applicable to everyday life.

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