3rd February 2021   •   article
#FarmersProtests in India goes viral worldwide after support from international celebrities

by Barfi Culture Team | @barfi_culture.
Image: Twitter
The protests by farmers in India finally started gaining the world's attention after celebrities started tweeting about them.

The attention was welcomed by activists and farmers themselves, who have long been trying to raise awareness of what's going on.

The avalanche of support started when superstar Rihanna shared this with her 100 million followers

The climate change activist Greta Thunberg soon followed

Even 'God' joined in

Support also came from the niece of Vice President Kamala Harris

Climate change activist Vanessa Nakate

Actor John Cusack!?

Even boxer Kell Brook raised his voice.

Why are protests taking place?

The Indian government says they want to help farmers by reforming the agricultural sector. The bill would cut out the middleman ('mandi' system) by allowing farmers to sell directly to corporations, and bring in more corporate investment.

But farmers say the impact would be devastating. The vast majority of farmers in Panjab and neighbouring state Haryana are small landowners, and rely on the MSP (minimum support price) to survive. The new bill does away with that system and puts farmers at the mercy of big corporations. They could drive the 'mandi' out of business by undercutting them one year, and set their own prices next year. It would put already indebted farmers at the mercy of large corporations. Even the EU doesn't do that.

The reforms would also allow companies to hoard grains, which they aren't currently allowed to do. That would also make it easier for companies to artificially control prices and drive small farmers out of business, forcing them to sell their land.
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