Indian farmer leaders and Civil society members stage a day long hunger strike as they seek to reaffirm the peaceful nature of their 2 months long protest. The farmer leaders said that the hunger strike coincides with the death anniversary of the famous independence leader, the father of the nation – Mahatma Gandhi.
Avtar Singh, a protestor said that even though the morale of protestors had been affected because of the violence on Republic day, there is more enthusiasm among the farmers. He further says that farmers wouldn’t give up until the government repeals the three farming laws.
During a press conference, Balbir Singh Rajewal said that the farmers movement is one of the longest agitations and what happened on January 26th is drawing more farmers from Haryana, Uttarakhand and other parts of the country. He also appealed to farmers to carry out a peaceful protest and not be swayed by emotions.
The tractor march by the farmers on Republic day made an international headline when the protestors diverted from the agreed routes, breaking barricades and clashing with police leaving one dead and hundreds injured. Tensions continue to remain high and the administrative authorities blocked internet services in an attempt to thwart protests. Meanwhile, farmers agitating the Farm Bills observed “Sadbhavana Diwas” on Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary and hold a day-long fast.
While the protestors are seeking that the government repeal the laws, Mr. Narendra Modi’s government continues to claim that the laws would indeed benefit the farmers and is necessary to modernize Indian agriculture. Multiple rounds of discussions between the farmer leaders and government have failed. The next round of talks is scheduled for February 2nd.