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Music motivates mounting movement in India as farmers reject govt proposals

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Music motivates mounting movement in India as farmers reject govt proposals

From a prayer and protest led by the Sikh community in Vancouver on Thursday and supporters taking to the streets in Toronto and in the U.K., an international show of support continues this week for India’s farmers, as the massive protest mounts over the deregulation of the country’s agricultural sector.

But it’s through music, like folk songs called boliyan, that the spirit of this unprecedented uprising echoes across the world.

“One may burn down everything but cannot burn down the culture or the form of songs and poetry that is coming out of these protests and that is rich. This makes the protest really rich in its contribution to future generations,” Kanupriya, president of the Punjab University Student Council told Global News.

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“That also makes the moment especially emotional for the younger generation because their grandparents are on the frontline.”


Click to play video 'Prayers and not protests in support of farmers in India'



Prayers and not protests in support of farmers in India


Prayers and not protests in support of farmers in India – Dec 11, 2020

Vancouver-based Punjabi actor and singer Harbhajan Mann has been protesting with the farmers in India. He recently released songs based on what he’s seen.

It’s music that represents the resistance and the resolve of tens of thousands of farmers.

“I felt right now, energy and every effort should be dedicated to their peaceful protest,” Mann said in an interview with Global News.

“I’ve travelled the world and I have seen no place where there is no minimum wages for your job,” he added.

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Despite the government’s assurances, in writing, of a minimum wage, referred to as minimum support price or MSP, amendments to the three farm bills in question, and offers to hold further negotiations, farmers have rejected the government’s proposals.


Click to play video 'Photographer gives deeper understanding of farmer’ protests in India'



Photographer gives deeper understanding of farmer’ protests in India


Photographer gives deeper understanding of farmer’ protests in India – Dec 9, 2020

The protesters camped out near the nation’s capital for two weeks are showing no sign of turning back until the contentious laws are repealed.

“We don’t have to borrow a model from America and the EU, they push small farmers out. I remember when Ronald Regan was the U.S. president in the ’80s his agriculture secretary had made that infamous statement ‘get big or get out,’” food and trade policy analyst Devinder Sharma said.

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“In Canada, small farmers have also been pushed out,” he added.

With small, marginal farmers making up more than 80 per cent of the sector, some analysts say the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, may have met his match.

Sharma believes this is an opportunity for much-needed change that will benefit small farmers.

“I think we have a tremendous opportunity to reset the model of economic growth which has been a disaster the world knows that, I think need to now really come back to a people-oriented model,” Sharma said.

The farmers have vowed to intensify their protest with nationwide blockades planned over the course of the coming days.


Click to play video 'India farmer protests: Trudeau says Canada will ‘always stand up’ for peaceful protests'



India farmer protests: Trudeau says Canada will ‘always stand up’ for peaceful protests


India farmer protests: Trudeau says Canada will ‘always stand up’ for peaceful protests – Dec 4, 2020

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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