Ahead of Biden-Modi Meet, Tikait Urges US Prez to 'Focus' on Farmers Struggle
Seeking international support, Tikait underlined that farmers have been protesting the three laws for 11 months.
Hours ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first bilateral meeting with Joe Biden on Friday, 24 September, Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait took to Twitter, urging the United States (US) president to 'focus' on the contentious farm laws passed by the Indian government.
Seeking international support, Tikait underlined that for nearly a year, farmer unions across India have been sitting in protest against the three agricultural ordinances passed by the Modi government. During the months-long protests, at least 700 farmers have lost their lives.
With the hashtag #BidenSpeakUp4Farmers, he wrote:
Spearheaded by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of around 40 farmer unions, thousands of farmers have been protesting since November 2020, demanding a complete rollback of the farm laws.
The unions have pushed for the inclusion of laws that guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for their crops, the scrapping of which, they believe, will leave them at the mercy of big corporations.
Even after 11 rounds of formal talks, the government has maintained that the laws will benefit the farmers, and sought to invalidate the farmer's movement.
In the beginning of 2021, the protests had received global recognition after singer-actor Rihanna posted tweet talking about the Internet crackdown in Delhi-NCR amid a farmers' demonstration.
Besides Rihanna, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, Meena Harris, an American lawyer and niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris, actor Amanda Cerni, singers Jay Sean, Dr Zeus and former adult star Mia Khalifa had also extended their support to the farmers' agitation.
Modi is currently on a five-day visit to the US – his first since Biden became the country's president.
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