New Delhi: The ‘Delhi Chalo’ farmers’ protest at border points of New Delhi has entered the 102nd day today.
Thousands of women farmers held sit-ins and a hunger strike in India’s capital on Monday in protests on International Women’s Day against new agricultural laws.
The demonstrations were held at multiple sites on the fringes of New Delhi where tens of thousands of farmers have camped for more than three months to protest against the laws they say will leave them poorer and at the mercy of big corporations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government says the laws are necessary to modernise agriculture.
About 100 women wearing yellow and green scarfs sat cross-legged in front of a makeshift stage in Ghazipur, one of the many protest sites. Holding the flags of farm unions, they listened to female farm leaders speak from the stage and chanted slogans against the laws. At least 17 took part in a day-long hunger strike.
The farmers are demanding a complete rollback of the new farm reform laws and a guarantee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system being retained. Multiple rounds of talks between the Centre and the farmers’ union leaders have ended in a stalemate.
Protesting farmers fear that the new laws will dismantle the MSP system and corporatise farming.
Women have been at the forefront of the protests, which have posed one of the biggest challenges to Modi since he took office in 2014.