The Canadian Federation of Students affirms its support for all farmers protesting across India and denounces the acts of violence carried out against them. Throughout September 2020, the Government of India passed three bills concerning the rights of farmers, which are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act. These acts deregulate India’s agricultural industry, allowing farmers to freely trade their agricultural products to private corporations at any price, eliminating guaranteed minimum income for their labour and agricultural goods.
These bills have forced farming communities to depend on corporate privatization, making it easier for companies to dominate the agricultural industry, and reduce the market share of independent farmers. From Delhi in India to cities around the world, farmers, unions, and allies have gathered in solidarity protesting against the implementation of these bills. While these protests are a testament to the negative impacts these bills will have on farmers and their communities, The Government of India has continued to fail the farmer communities and have chosen to respond with violence, launching a direct attack on protesters with tear gas, water cannons, batons, and other acts of physical violence.
The lack of support from the Government of India has left more than half of agricultural households in debt, leading to a significant number of suicides in India with most cases coming from Indian farmers and their communities
The Canadian Federation of Students affirms our solidarity with affected students, farmers, communities impacted by suicide, and those who continue to face injustices from their governments for advocating for their rights to sustainable livelihoods. We offer support to our Indian members, those who stand in solidarity with farmers in India, and anyone being impacted at this time. If you are in need of resources, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for support.