The New York Times (NYT) on Tuesday, 16 February, published a full-page advertisement by over 70 human rights organisations supporting the ongoing farmers’ protests in India.
Demanding that the human rights abuses must end, the advertisers alleged that the Indian government has responded to peaceful protests with alleged state-sponsored violence by using tear gas, water canons, arrests and detentions.
“For many, this is a matter of life and death. These laws benefit large conglomerate corporate entities and remove protections for farmers,” the advertisement claimed, adding that millions of farmers now stand to lose their farms.
“Farmers across India have peacefully organised and protested for months. Yet they have faced violence, persecution and retaliation by the government. The protest sites at times have been cut off from water, aid, and electricity. Internet services have been strategically suspended to silence dissent. Media outlets have been censored and threatened. Protestors, activists and journalists have been arrested, assaulted and held in indefinite detention,” the advertisement in the paper read.
The advertisement further said that global citizens must be called on to safeguard the principles on which all democratic nations are founded.
“We call on all people who champion human rights – in the United States and around the world – to join us and condemn the abuses against farmers, labourers and protesters in India,” it said.
The signatories in the advertisement included many prominent human rights groups, including Hindus for Human Rights, Global Projects Against Hate and Extremism, New York City Fair Trade Coalition, The Revolutionary Love Project and Win Without War, among others.
The advertisement in one of the most prominent newspapers comes even as the Indian government has alleged international conspiracy to malign the Narendra Modi government through the farmers’ protests.
Activists Disha Ravi, Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk are facing prosecution for allegedly planning the 26 January violence in Delhi via a Toolkit document.
The movement got global attention after international personalities, including pop star Rihanna, and climate activists Greta Thunberg spoke out against the alleged violation of human rights, followed by several members of administration from the US and the UK.