Farmers Protest 2024


Farmers Protest-Delhi is under a heavy security cover with personnel in anti-riot gear & concrete barricades regulating access to several roads. In 2020-2021, Farmers from various states joined hands to protest against the central government for introducing three new farm laws And today the farmers are again protesting, demanding more changes and reforms.

But why? Why are farmers protesting? Let’s go through this Article.

Why are Farmers Protesting in Delhi?

Delhi is not just the capital; it’s also the political hub where decisions are made. More than 200 farmers have organized the ‘Delhi Chalo 2.0’ march to draw attention to their cause and pressure the government to listen to their demands.

What was happening at Delhi Chalo Protest?

Thousands of farmers had crossed from Punjab to Haryana. The Haryana Police had tried to stop them with water cannons and tear gas near the Delhi- Haryana border. Later they were permitted through. 

A large group of farmers or protesters had camped for the night near Panipat. On the Next day, protesters were gathered at Delhi's border at Tigri and Singhu.

Their major demand was the withdrawal of the three farm laws and preventing the alleged dismantling of the MSP system and monopoly of the APMC-regulated Mandis.

The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020

This time, the farmers’ central demand concerns something called the minimum support price, or M.S.P. They want it to be increased, adding a 50 percent premium to whatever it costs them to produce wheat and rice.
farmers protest

What are the Recent Farmers’ Demands?

The farmers, especially from states like Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, demands include:

  • A law that guarantees a minimum price for their crops (MSP)
  • 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
  • Give pensions to farmers and farm workers and forgive their farm debts
  • Punishment for the offenders of the October 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri incident
  • Implementation of the Land Acquisition Act of 2013, with provisions for written consent from farmers before their land is taken
  • Withdrawal from the World Trade Organization and stop making any new trade deals
  • Compensation for those who died during the protest in Delhi in 2020-21, and they want one family member to get a job
  • Electricity Amendment Bill of 2020 to be scrapped
  • More days of work under MGNREGA, a government work program, and they want to get paid more each day
  • Strict punishments for companies that make fake seeds, pesticides, or fertilizers
  • Setup of National Commission for spices like chili and turmeric.

Also, Read WHAT IS SRI (System of Rice Intensification)

Why do farmers want price support?

The M.S.P. should act as a form of social insurance, by sparing the majority of India’s population, which still depends on farming incomes, from the volatility of changing weather patterns and internationally set grain prices.

In practice, India’s better-off farmers would stand to lose the most if the M.S.P. was eliminated; annual incomes in Punjab are higher than in the rest of the country’s grain belt.

Farmers inching closer to the middle class often feel the pinch of stagnating incomes most sharply. Many families in Punjab have invested in higher education as a way up. But acute unemployment makes those debts hard to pay down. In the poorer parts of the country, indebted farmers often resort to suicide.

Mr. Modi had promised to double the incomes that they had in 2015, and on that the government has fallen far short. It makes farmers’ demands more urgent, Mr. Pandher said: “Either the government should come around or grant us the right to protest peacefully in Delhi.”

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 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%. 

The question arises Farmer’s Protest could be BJP’s weak spot, ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections.

How Farmers’ Protest could affect PM Modi’s BJP?

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi is looking for a third straight win in the seat of governance, equating to Jawaharlal Nehru’s feat, the farmers’ protest stands as a worry, so close to the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections for the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Even though the three Assembly wins for the saffron party in December 2023 may have buoyed their confidence, as chance for worry remains with the farmers’ protest.

It is to be noted that the farmers staging protests hail from the politically crucial states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, all in the Hindi heartland. Apart from them farmers from Tamil Nadu have also joined, Tamil Nadu, a state PM Modi has failed to make headwinds despite the ‘Sengol’ move. This means the farmer’s protest jeopardizes PM Modi’s strong hold over the Hindi heartland, as well as his efforts to impress India’s southern states.

Punjab sends 13 members to the Lok Sabha. BJP would lose face if the farmers’ protest escalates, thereby losing the Punjab vote bank to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or Congress.

The BJP, according to Election Commission data had a vote share of 9.73 percent in the state in 2019 and just two seats. Haryana would also witness BJP defeat in case of an escalation. In 2019 BJP won all 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state. However, the state has also seen a significant amount number of farmers participate in the protest in 2020, and in 2024.

The farmers’ protests have also witnessed participation from Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha. The BJP had won 72 seats in 2014 and 62 in 2019 general elections.

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