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Now, US lawmakers voice support for protesting farmers

December 09, 2020 05:40 AM

COURTESY HT DEC 9

Now, US lawmakers voice support for protesting farmers
Press Trust of India

letterschd@hindustantimes.com

Washington : Several US lawmakers and eminent members of the Sikh community in America have voiced their support for farmers agitating in India against the new farm laws and urged that they be allowed to protest peacefully.

Dubbing these laws as “anti-farmer”, these farmers claim that the newly enacted legislations would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporations. However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.

“I stand in solidarity with the Punjabi farmers in India protesting for their livelihoods and protection from misguided, manipulative government regulations,” Congressman Doug LaMalfa said on Monday. “Punjabi farmers must be allowed to protest peacefully against their government without fear of violence,” said the lawmaker who represents Californian’s first Congressional district.

India has called the remarks by foreign leaders and politicians on protests by farmers as “ill-informed” and “unwarranted” as the matter pertained to the internal affairs of a democratic country.

“India is the world’s largest Democracy - they owe it to their citizens to allow peaceful protest. I encourage these folks and PM (Narendra) Modi to have peaceful, productive discussions,” Democratic Congressman Josh Harder said.

Congressman TJ Cox said India must uphold the right to peaceful demonstration and ensure their citizens’ safety. The rights of farmers protesting must be respected and meaningful dialogue is the way forward, the Democratic leader asserted.

Congressman Andy Levin said he was inspired by the movement of farmers in India. “I see it as a harbinger of a people power year in 2021,” the Democratic lawmaker said.

The US Sikh Community on Monday urged Prime Minister Modi to accept the demands of the agitating farmers and continue to have a dialogue with them. In a letter, the Sikhs of America urged the prime minister to recognise the farmers protest as a national protest and not a regional one

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