Sikh Coalition Asks President Biden to Stand For India’s Farmers

Farmers burn copies of the recent agricultural reform laws and pictures of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they celebrate Lohri festival on the outskirts of Amritsar on January 9. | Narinder Nanu/AFP

NEW YORK—In a letter written to President Biden’s on his first full day in office, the Sikh Coalition has asked him to support India’s farmers. Masses of farmers in India are protesting at various borders of Delhi, India’s capital city, seeking a repeal of three recently enacted laws deemed anti-farmer.

The letter by Sikh Coalition comes after it had already launched an effort in the United States asking Sikh Americans to call upon their Congress members to speak out in support of the farmers.

In a statement, the Sikh Coalition said, “We ask President Biden to release a statement reminding Prime Minister Modi and the Indian government that peaceful protest–without the fear of violence and intimidation–is a fundamental right in a democracy. We also request that the State Department monitor the increasing number of retaliatory actions against farmers, protestors, and others who support the movement and that the new administration hold Prime Minister Modi and other government officials accountable for their past and ongoing human rights abuses.”

The farmers’ protest outside of Delhi began in November 2020 and has continued despite freezing temperatures and repressive response tactics from the Indian police and military.

The Sikh Coalition also appealed to the diaspora –

“On January 26, the farmers are planning a peaceful tractor rally in Delhi to coincide with India’s Republic Day. It is critical that in advance of this major development, the eyes of the world–and the U.S. government–are on India. Accordingly, please consider amplifying the specific asks in our letter as your Sangat’s plan advocacy and media outreach in the days ahead.

Thousands of Sikh Americans have already called on their members of Congress to speak out in support of the farmers’ protest. In addition, community members have held solidarity marches and caravans in at least 16 states plus Washington, DC, over the last two months, with more scheduled for this weekend.”

You can see Sikh24’s complete coverage on the #farmersprotest here – farmersprotest.sikh24.com

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