MST families stand in solidarity with peasant struggle in India

Mass mobilizations in New Delhi and other cities in the country require the national government to withdraw three controversial laws that corporatize the agricultural sector in India

From the MST page

In solidarity with the thousands of peasants in India who are organizing massive mobilizations across the country, demanding that the national government remove three controversial laws that corporatize the agricultural sector in India, on January 26, the Landless families responded to the international call to light candles to send strength and courage to protesters, mobilized for more than 50 days in the country.

With the hashtag #ShineOnIndiaFarmers landless workers from various regions of Brazil published images on the social networks of the MST, with lighted candles and messages of support to peasants in India who participate in the mobilizations.

In this way, the MST extends its solidarity to the organizations of La Via Campesina in India and to all the organizations and movements that lead the demonstrations in different regions of the country.

Jaime Amorim, of the National Directorate of the MST and a member of the International Coordination of La Via Campesina, explains that the struggle of the peasant movements in India is happening because of the agricultural reform implemented by the extreme right government of India, Narendra Modi since 2014. The reforms benefit the advance of the export sector of agribusiness and attack peasant, subsistence and local supply agriculture.

Peasants demand the withdrawal of three laws, which together dismantle the national supply system and government procurement from small producers and benefit large foreign agribusiness companies.

“To support the people in India, peasant and subsistence agriculture is indispensable. But, in 2014, the extreme right prime minister was elected, and he began to apply neoliberal measures for agriculture, introducing what we know well in Brazil, which is agribusiness. Trying to replace peasant agriculture with private and business capitalist agriculture,” says Amorim.

January 26 was the date for the celebration of the Republic of India. The peasants carried out a massive mobilization with tractors in the capital, seeking to increase the pressure on the government and the visibility of the demands.

With no progress in negotiations with the government, the peasants camped outside the country’s capital, occupied New Delhi and blocked roads with tractors, intensifying protests that have lasted almost three months.

According to the Bhartiya Kisan Union, a member of Via Campesina, more than 120 people have sacrificed their lives so far, with the cold and freezing rains in New Delhi. The MST recognizes the martyrs who gave their lives in the struggle for the rights of peasants.

The struggles of peasants are the same in all corners of the world. We seek dignity, autonomy and control of food production, respecting the food sovereignty of our territories and harmony with nature.

Globalize the struggle, globalize hope!

*Edited by Fernanda Alcântara