Since yesterday, thousands of Indian farmers have marched to Delhi with their demands. While they had originally intended to march to Parliament, the Delhi police has managed to restrict them to Jantar Mantar, where leaders of the Opposition, including the likes of Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, and Sitaram Yechury, are addressing them.
India's farmers are in distress. Over three lakh farmers have committed suicide in the twenty-year period between 1995 and 2015. In 2015, the government stopped publishing farmer suicide data. But even a simple trip out of any Indian city, into the countryside, a simple walk through countless Indian villages, is enough to know that our farmers do not enjoy the same privileges, the same quality of life as we in the city do. And yet, there is unprecedented disinterest and apathy about the plight of those who grow our food. The farmer is all but absent from our consciousness – from mass cinema, TV, and news, to government policies. Successive governments have either looked away while India's farm crisis grew manifold or actively contributed to it. For instance, does anyone even know who Narendra Modi's agriculture minister is? So now, make their voice heard, the farmers have marched into Delhi. Under the banner of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), thousands of farmers from all corners of India have arrived in the capital to knock at the doors of the Parliament of India. They have a simple demand - save India's farmers by passing laws that guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for their produce, and grant them a comprehensive farm loan waiver. Here are the marchers in images taken by eminent journalists and activists.