3oth Nov 2020
The National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO) joined the protest held at the Sindhu border by the farmers and farmer unions collectively. The border has a heavy deployment of police personnel and Rapid Action Force, and it has been sealed so as to prevent the farmers from entering the city. The roads by which one can reach Sindhu border have also been blocked. Ishu Jaiswal, the coordinator of the Delhi Chapter of NCHRO, visited Sindhu border in solidarity with the farmers and their demands to scrap the anti-farmers farm bills that seek to hand undue power in the hands of corporations and deregulate the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC), along with doing away with the necessity of the Minimum Support Price, a price set by the government to ensure farmers do not incur losses in case their crops are not in sufficient demand.
Ishu Jaiswal visited both Burari and Sindhu border on November 28 and November 29 respectively. While the gathering at Burari is scarce and there is ample checking and question at the gate of Burari’s Nirankari ground, where the farmers are staying, the Sindhu border has a greater density and number of farmers and consequently there is far more police personnel covering the border. The farmers have decided to stay there and block the border so as to have their demands heard by the Modi government. Ishu Jaiswal also spoke to a few farmers there and has reported that the farmers are determined to have their demands conceded. There are several farmers’ unions of various parties present at Sindhu border, as well as plenty of student political organisations to join the farmers in their struggle against the Acts that leave farmers at the mercy of corporations with no protection from the State.
Ishu Jaiswal reports, after speaking to some of the farmers at Sindhu border, that the farmers there do not think going to Burari is appropriate as that will essentially lock them inside Delhi in a place that is anyway at the margins of Delhi. It is better instead to block the borders, they think. As a result, the farmers have blocked not just the Sindhu border as of now, but also the Tikri border, in a show of resistance to the farm bills and the deaf ears that the Modi government has turned to the farmers and the people. The bills in question were passed undemocratically in the parliament with the opposition muted and many parliamentarians protesting inside the parliament. It will work against the interests of the farmers, many of whom already did not earn much profit before the bills were passed, if at all.
Currently, it is unclear for how long the protests will continue, seeing that the government is adamant and the farmers determined. Considering that the resistance has seen huge numbers, with the solidarity of workers as well who went on a mass strike on November 26 and November 27, and that the farmers interests are going to be crushed if the Acts passed are not opposed and revoked, it is unlikely that the protests will end soon. The Modi government has to concede the demands of the farmers. NCHRO stands in solidarity with the farmers, as it is an issue of not just undemocratically passing bills in the parliament, and of the nature of the Acts which will prove detrimental to the farmers, but also of dignity and respect of the farmers who have mounted this huge resistance to the said Acts and the undemocratic nature of the Modi government.
NCHRO, Delhi Chapter