Photo Credit: Photo by jk_photography used with permission.
India continues to violate their farmer’s human rights
February 23, 2021
For over 3 months now farmers in India have been protesting against agriculture bills that were passed by Narendra Modi the Prime Minister of India. During their 2 months of protesting and living on the streets, farmers have been facing new challenges ever since.
What rights have been violated?
Firstly Indian police have been attacking peaceful protesters with tear gas, water cannons, and batons. This has caused many injuries to protestors and many have gone missing. Police have also shot a protester named Navreet Singh. Many eyewitnesses can confirm it, sadly he passed away. Godi (go-de) media is news media that supports Modi. This media puts out misleading information and lies to make kisaans (kis-ons) known as farmers look bad. For example Police attacked the farmers with tear gas. When kisaans threw the same tear gas shells at them, they got labeled as stone pelters by Godi media.
A journalist in India named Mandeep Punia made a video exposing Godi media. He showed how Godi Media photoshops pictures to make Indian police look good. He also goes and says how BJP workers ( Bharatiya Janata Party) tried to burn protesters’ blankets and mattresses along with trying to burn a tent full of ladies. The police arrested Mandeep Punia.
In the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) article 9 bullet 1 states, “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention.” However if you go down a little more to bullet 5 it says, “Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation.” The Indian government is going against it’s own constitution. Mandeep Punia is not the only victim of unlawful arrest. Police have arrested a lot of farmers for no reason. Police also arrested Nodeep Kaur a trade union activist who has been supporting farmers. They detained her about 30 days ago. Police have rejected her bail plea. Since then she has been physically, mentally and sexually abused by male police officers. Her sister confirms that there are wounds on Nodeep’s back and private parts.
Delhi police have released Mandeep Punia from jail. His statement to the public was, “I found many stories inside. Also spoke to farmers who were sent here and I will file the report soon.”
More examples of violation
In the ICCPR article 21 it states, “The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right…” Indian police have been putting barricades along the farmer’s path, to stop them from proceeding. Recently police have made cement barricades with spikes in them so Kisaans can’t move forward.
Next, Indian police had cut the internet at protest sites, while they attacked protestors. They did this to make a social media blackout, so protesters from the sites couldn’t communicate with the outside world. Plus Indian police have cut food and water supply to protest sites.
What happened on Republic Day?
Republic Day is when the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 of January. Kisaans had the biggest tractor rally in the world on that day. Delhi police and kisaans had an agreement on what roads they could have their rally on. There were 6 rallies that happened that day. One rally came from Tikri Border and another one came from Singhu Border. Police put barricades and big buses in the middle of the Singhu Borders route, even though Delhi police had an agreement. Then when farmers tried to peacefully remove them, the police fired back with tear gas and hit the protesters with batons. Therefore the farmers fought back to defend but Godi Media changed the story. They made it seem like the farmers started the violence first.
Tweets about the cause
On January 2, 2021 Rihanna, a famous music artist tweeted saying, “Why aren’t we talking about this?!” Along with that she put an article written by CNN. With her tweet many more celebrities like Greta Thunberg, Amanda Cerny, Meena Harris, JuJu Smith Schuster, and more started to raise awareness about the protests.
This made Bollywood actors and actresses speak up about the situation. In my opinion it shouldn’t have taken them about 2 months to say something about the protests. These actors and actresses are from India. It shouldn’t have taken a artist from a different country to make you want to speak up about what’s happening in your country after being silent for almost 2 months.
India has threatened Twitter with penalties to ban/ block accounts who use any hashtags related to farmers’ protest. Many sources confirm Twitter blocking numerous high profile accounts.
The World is watching! The Indian government can do whatever they want, but they could never destroy these farmer’s high spirits, injustice never wins! Navreet Singh’s Grandfather from the caravan magazine interview says, “Our constitution is dead, The Constitution based on which the country works, has been shelved.” I totally agree with him. The question is… How is the government going against it’s own constitution, and hurting its own citizens?
As we all sit in our homes with privileges, electricity, internet, water, and more. Supplies in India are being cut. People are dying everyday due to harsh conditions around 211 have passed. All these farmers and protestors have spent their 3 months sleeping on the cold streets during the winter.
Sarup Singh says, “They can do whatever they want, Kissan’s high spirits and determination will never break… they can beat us up however much they want to. We won’t stop!” To wrap it up, we should all come together and help a minority that needs help. If not you, then who? If not now, when? Speak up and spread awareness. There’s always power in unity.