Feeders With Empty Stomachs: Indian Farmers Begin Day-Long Hunger Strike


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The farmer protests in India have entered their 19th day as crowds continue to gather around Delhi to denounce the newly-passed farm laws. After several rounds of talks with the government, including Home Minister Amit Shah, the farmers still want the laws be revoked.

The leaders of all major farmers’ unions in India have issued the call for a day-long nationwide hunger strike among the members of the community on Monday. The hunger strike, which officially began at 9:00 a.m. (local time), will last until 5:00 p.m.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s central government stands firm on defending the farm laws as being “progressive”, the opposition parties including the Indian National Congress and Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have extended support to the mass fasting. 

Netizens closely following the situation have also been sharing visuals and opinions on the hunger strike.

​Over the chilly, rainy weekend, the farmers jammed the Delhi-Jaipur highway in a sign of protest. 

Aiming to spread awareness about the laws, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to organise 700 press conferences and “Chaupals” (mass gatherings) in all the districts of India to dispel the confusion among farmers. 

While addressing corporate leaders at the 93rd Annual General Meeting of industry body FICCI, Prime Minister Modi also said farmers will benefit from more technology and will be able to access more markets via the agriculture reforms.

The farmers, who have been protesting in Delhi and on the outskirts of the city since 26 November, are adamantly demanding a complete rollback of the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020. 

The laws were passed during the Monsoon Session of the Parliament in September. As of now, 11 protesters have died, including in road accidents, in Delhi. 

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