The 2020–2021 Indian farmers’ protest is a continuous dissent against the three farm acts which were passed by the Parliament of India in September 2020.
Farmer unions and their representatives have urged or rather demanded that all the three laws should be repealed with immediate effect and will not accept any form of it. Farm leaders have even rejected the stay order which was issued by the Supreme Court of India on the farm laws as well as the involvement of the Supreme Court-appointed committee. Nine rounds of talks have taken place till date between the central government and farmers between 14 October 2020 and 15 January 2021 but all were inconclusive.
Indian Allies Take on Farmer Protest
Many foreign leaders mainly of Indian origin have raised serious concern over the issue.
In Canada, the support has come mainly from the opposition party ‘New Democratic Party’ headed by Jagmeet Singh.
Mr. Singh tweeted saying that “I firmly stand and back the farmers coming from Punjab and across India and the violence done by the Indian government against the peaceful protest is just horrific and the government should engage in peaceful dialogue rather than being violent.”
And later on, being asked by the Canadian PM Mr. Justin Trudeau about the relations with India, Trudeau said, “The state will always back the right for doing peaceful protest going anywhere around the world but we are also pleased to see that dialogues are being made to de-escalate the issue.”
To this an official statement was issued by the Ministry Of External Affairs(MEA) stating, “The Canadian High Commissioner was called to the MEA and has been informed that comments which were made by the PM Trudeau, some of his Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament on issues regarding our Indian farmers is totally an intolerable involvement in our internal matters.”
And if this continues, then the ongoing smooth relationship between the two countries will have a serious negative impact on it, the Ministry further said.
The Ministry also said that “The comment and statements passed by them have encouraged the extremist elements for gathering of unlawful activities in front of our High Commission and Consulates in Canada which raise issues of safety and security. We expect the Canadian Government to stop its political leaders to make any comment that validates extremist activism.”
On 1st Dec, India reacted strongly to the comments passed by the un-informed Canadian PM Trudeau on farmers’ protests in India and said the remarks are totally “unforgivable” especially when made on the internal affairs of a democratic nation.
Labour party of U.K has shown deep concern over the farm protest. Most of their leaders have tweeted and raised their voice in their parliament over the ongoing farmers protest.
Some MP from the Labour party namely Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, John McDonnell and Preet Kaur Gill have raised their voice over the issue saying ”we firmly stand with the farmers’ who are peacefully protesting against the farm bills which will impact their livelihood in a negative way. We also criticize the government on the violent approach towards the farmers and the use of tear gas. water cannons to deal with them.”
United Kingdom PM. Boris Johnson on being asked about the issue by Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi he looked confused. and started speaking about the interrelation between India and Pakistan. In his statement, he said “Our take on this is that, we are deeply concerned about the current situation between India and Pakistan but these are bilateral issues and I’m sure both countries are capable enough to resolve among themselves”
In the US, up until this point, there wasn’t any reaction from anyone. It was Harmeet K Dhillon from Republican Party and who finally came in support of the Indian farmers. On her twitter account she tweeted saying that “I’m a Punjabi-born descendant of farmers and it weeps my heart out to see how the protesters(farmers) are addressed with violence by the Indian Government for protesting against the farm bill which will destroy their life. I urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi. to have a dialogue with them and meet to a mutual agreement. “
She further added stating “Some of my family members are still in Punjab who farm to live their daily life. And I’m certain they know what is best for them. Also they have a right to protest and be heard in a democratic country especially in a country like India which is the largest democracy in the world.”
Also earlier a group of seven powerful US lawmakers, which include an Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, had raised the issue in written to then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, asking him to raise the matter of farmers’ protest in India with his Indian counterpart.
But as of now no statement has been made by the newly elected Vice President Kamala Harris and the President Mr. Joe Biden.
In Australia, not many leaders have said anything related to the ongoing agitation. The first was Rob Mitchell, Labour MP from McEwen in Victoria, who showed his concern in the Australian Parliament in support of Indian farmers’ protest. In his statement he said “I’m deeply concerned and disturbed the way with which the Indian farmers are addressed and also fear for their security and safety while doing peaceful protests. I urge Delhi to show restraint while managing the protesters.”
Other close allies such as Japan, Russia and Israel have said nothing regarding the protest.
On the Contrary
Brazilian President Mr. Jair Bolsonaro thanked India via tweet for supplying the Covid-19 vaccine to his nation. He also shared the same tweet in their language (Portuguese) along with an image showing Lord Hanuman carrying “Sanjeevani booti” from India to Brazil.
It clearly shows that India’s relation with his allied partners is not been damaged due to the protests as no official statement has been made against India by any of the state heads except for Canada even though some opposition parties of the allied partners have raised their concern over the issue. As a matter of fact India is trying to boost its relations even further through multiple bilateral and multilateral agreements with them.