Srinagar – Seven influential US lawmakers have written to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, urging him to raise the issue of farmers’ protest in India with his Indian counterpart.
India has called the remarks by foreign leaders on protests by farmers as “ill-informed” and “unwarranted” as the matter pertained to the internal affairs of a democratic country.
In their letter, the lawmakers, including Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, said that the US as a nation that is familiar with political protests can offer counsel to India during their current period of social disturbance, according to a report by PTI.
“As national legislators, we respect the right of the government of India to determine national policy, in compliance with existing law. We also acknowledge the rights of those in India and abroad who are currently protesting peacefully against agricultural laws that many Indian farmers see as an attack on their economic security,” the lawmakers said.
“Many Indian Americans are directly affected as they have family members and ancestral land in Punjab and are concerned about the well-being of their families in India. In view of this serious situation, we urge you to contact your Indian counterpart to reinforce the United States’ commitment to the freedom of political speech abroad,” they said.
In addition to Jayapal, the letter has been signed by Congressmen Donald Norcross, Brendan F Boyle, Brian Fitzpatrick, Mary Gay Scanlon, Debbie Dingell and David Trone.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and several other states have been protesting on various borders of Delhi since November 26, seeking repeal of three farm laws enacted in September.
Dubbing these laws as “anti-farmer”, these farmers claim that the newly enacted legislations would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporations, the report said.
However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture. There have been multiple rounds of talks between representatives of the protestors and the Indian government but the stalemate continues. (With inputs from PTI)
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.