Punjab Farmers

11th January 2021

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Words Hannah McIntosh / In-HAUS Art Director
Photography Ravan Khosa

At GREENHAUS we treat every case with equal importance. We see what is happening beyond the Western sphere and aim to bring it to light at the forefront of your social consciousness. This includes farmers native to Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Padesh peacefully marching towards the nation’s capital in protest of new laws that could dismantle the MSP system, exposing them to the mercy of big corporate houses.
We’d first like you to imagine Punjab, considered the most fertile and versatile land, enveloped in lush green fields and the flowing five rivers, often referred to as the “breadbasket” of India. Farmers and their families are the very backbone that hold up the country that relies entirely on their land to sustain a competent living.

To put it in perspective, in 2019, a reported 10,281 farmers died by suicide in India alone, a majority of whom reside in Punjab.
With that in mind, I will explain in the broadest sense what these three new legislative laws will mean for Sikh farmers in India and hope that, with this, you will not sit idly after the facts. To summarise, passing the farm bill proposes a grave threat to farmer autonomy over their land, produce and business. It further jeopardises how much market share, pricing and control a farmer has over their crops, possibly leaving some unable to survive. If whilst reading this, and you feel disassociated when you read the words “autonomy” and “market share”, we ask you to know your source, carefully research and think again.

To learn more details surrounding the laws visit Himmat Co.

In instances such as this, it’s human compassion that should save us all. Many protesters, whom of which are elderly, are met with the most terrifying force. Methods of brutality such as expired tear gas and water cannons, dispersed at the hands of police, results in death or protestors requiring serious medical attention.

When you are met with such violence, many would reciprocate with equal brute. This cannot be said for the Sikh community. Upon carrying out research, we were made aware of the extraordinary Sikh philosophy of service and humanitarianism. Protesters had been serving food and water to the adversary that were sworn to extinguish the masses. I have read such stories of farmers who had beautifully prepared fresh roti and sabzi in large amounts for the crowds and pronounced that “anyone who was hungry was free to come and join the langar.”
British Labour Party politician, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, so powerfully proposed to our own Prime Minister: 

“It was heart-warming to see those very farmers feeding those forces who had been ordered to beat and suppress them. What indomitable spirit and it takes a special kind of people to do that. Will the Prime Minister convey to the Indian Prime Minister our heartfelt anxieties, our hopes for a speedy resolution to the current deadlock?”

The Sikh diaspora give and ask for nothing in return. Even if you are not of Sikh faith or Punjabi yourself, no action is still a form of action, usually benefitting the oppressor. The Western media can too often misconstrue or falsely educate the public on subjects that are a life or death matter. Research begins with resources that we will link down below. End the micro-aggressions and think before you base proceeding decisions of making change because you, “won’t have your spices,” or that you simply, “can’t live without chai.” Preserve human life and stand with farmers.

#istandwithfarmers                 #nofarmersnofood                 #farmersprotest 

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