On Tuesday, tens of thousands of protesting farmers drove a long tractor line into India’s capital and broke through police blocks, defied lacerated gas, and stormed the historic Red Fort on the day of the Republic.
They waved agricultural union and religious flags from the fort, in which the prime ministers hoist the National Flag annually to mark the independence of the country.
Hundreds of news channels demonstrated the deeply symbolic act of the centuries-old National Monument. People watched the farmer’s protests in shock and were now seen as Premier Narendra Modi’s government’s major challenge.
Thousands more farmers marched and ran on horseback while yelling against Modi. Slogans. In certain places residents who recorded the unprecedented protest on their phones were showered with flower petals.
A protestor died after the overthrow of his tractor, police said, but farmers said he was shot. Several bloodied protestors were shown on TV channels.
More than 10,000 tractors have joined the protest, said farmers’ leaders.
Farmers, many of them Sikhs from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping near the capital for nearly two months and blockading roads that connect with the north of the country in the rebellion that stirred up the government. They call for the withdrawal of new laws that commercialize agriculture and ruin farmers’ income.
Satpal Singh, a farmer who drives a tractor with his family of five into the capital, said: “We want to give Modi our strength. “We’re not going to give up.”
In numerous places, the riot police fired lacerating gas and water cans into rows of tractors, which struck barricades of concrete and steel. In an effort to keep farmers from reaching the center of the capital, authorities blocked roads with large trucks and buses. However, thousands succeeded in reaching some important sites.
“We’re going to do what we want. It’s impossible to force your laws on the poor,” a protesting farmer, Manjeet Singh, said.
Officials shut down some subway stations, and in some parts of the capital the mobile internet services were suspended, a frequent government tactic to thwart protests.
In September, the government insists on farmers benefitting and boosting production through private investment through Parliament’s legislation on agriculture reform.
Farmers in November attempted to march to New Delhi but the police stopped them. Since then they have fallen untouched by the winter coolness on the outskirts of the city, threatening to assault it unless agricultural legislation is revoked.
The administration has suggested amending the legislation and suspending it for 18 months. But farmers insist on nothing but a complete abrogation. On Feb. 1, when the country’s new budget is tabled, they plan on foot to march to Parliament.
The protests overshadowed the celebrations of the Republic Day, during which Modi was responsible for a traditional lavish parade along the Rajpath Boulevard, showcasing the military power and cultural diversity of the country.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic the parade was scaled back. People were wearing masks and walking away from society, as police and military battalions marked the road with their newest equipment.
On the 26th of January 1950, Republic Day celebrates the anniversary of the constitution adoption of the country.
Protesting farmers have broken off the accepts and have rely on “violence and vandalism” according to police. Police.
Samyukt Kisan Morcha or United Farmers Front, the group organising the protest, blame violence for “anti-social elements” that “infiltrated another peaceful movement.”
Farmer’s image of Indian politics is upset by Modi’s imperturbable dominance.
The administration of Modi has been rocked by several convulsions since it came back to power for a second term. The economy has tanked, social struggles have widened, anti-discriminatory laws have been protested and his government is questioned about its response.
More than half of the 1,4 billion people in the country are supported by agriculture. But in the last three decades, the economic impact of farmers has fallen. Once a third of India’s gross domestic product had been produced, farmers now make up just 15% of India’s $2.9 trillion economy.
According to official records, over half of farmers are debtors with 20,638 killings in 2018 and 2019.
The controversial legislation has exacerbated farmers’ existing resentment who have long been seen as India’s heart and soul, but often complain of government ignorance.
Modi has tried, mainly by dismissing their concerns, to alleviate farmers’ fears and has accused opposition parties time and time again of spreading rumours. Some party leaders described the farmers as “anti-national,” a label frequently given to those who criticise Modi or his policies.
Devinder Sharma, a farmer expert who has worked for income equality for Indian farmers for the last two decades, said it was not just protesting the reforms but challenging the country’s entire economic design.
“The anger you see is aggravated wrath,” said Sharma. “India is becoming increasingly unequal, and farmers are worsening. This was not done by policy planners and the income was drawn down to the top. The farmers only ask what their right is.”