February 5, 2021


India protest: today is Republic Day in India; but the celebrations turned violent as a tractor rally descends on Red Fort India containing tens of thousands of farmers. Tear gas was used to repel the protestors, with one farmer left dead after the storming of the capital. Protestors climbed up onto the ramparts of the fort and waved religious and farm union flags; making headlines in world politics news.

The farmers marched, some on foot and others on horseback; into New Delhi shouting messages against current Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Throughout their march; some residents showered the farmers with flower petals in a show of unity, but things turned ugly once they reached the police barricades and began to break through.

Tear gas was fired into the crowd and one farmer was left dead after his tractor reportedly overturned. While police say it was an accident; others on scene claim that the farmer was shot and killed by the police. Protestors in the march covered the dead man’s body in the Indian flag; while images from Indian television showed many more people battered and bloodied. It is perhaps surprising that the death toll was not higher when you consider that roughly 10,000 tractors were part of the march.

The protests have actually been ongoing for the past couple of months

With farmers blocking northbound roads out of the capital. The farmers; many of whom are from the Punjab and Haryana region, are protesting new laws from the government that they believe will hurt the earning potential of farmers. It is an uprising that has certainly had an impact on the government; but whether it is enough to get them to overturn the new agricultural laws is something that remains to be seen.

That seems unlikely; though, as the government contends that the new laws will in fact be beneficial to farmers and will help boost productivity through private investments. The government has offered to suspend the implementation of the new laws for 18 months; but the farmers are unlikely to settle for anything other than a complete repeal. They may well make world politics news again on Feb. 1, as they plan another march into the capital on that date, which is when the new budget is revealed.

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