Giving Compass' Take:
- Nikhil Mandalaparthy explains why farmers in Northern India have been protesting for months, and what the protests' implications are for America.
- What is the significance of global awareness of and engagement with national protest movements? How can you support overseas campaigns for human rights?
- Read about protests in Myanmar in the face of a coup.
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For the past several months, farmers from across northern India have camped outside the Indian capital of New Delhi, protesting three recently passed laws that they see as opening India’s agricultural sector to exploitation by private corporations. The farmers are peacefully calling on the Indian government to repeal these laws, and have been met with water cannons, barbed wire, and Internet shutdowns. Images of unarmed farmers being brutalized by police are reminiscent of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, in which nonviolent protesters marching for racial justice often faced tear gas and police violence.
But why should Americans, particularly those of us who are invested in strengthening pluralism and democracy, care about what’s happening in India?
Just as Americans are grappling with fundamental questions of what it means to live in a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-racial democracy, so are Indians. The farmers’ protests represent the possibility of an inclusive, multi-faith, multi-generational movement for justice in India, in which women and oppressed castes are playing an important role. And, notably, this movement has been led by a religious minority.
Those of us who care about inclusive democracy and pluralism in the US have much to learn from India’s farmers protests, and much to heal within our own society.
Read the full article about protests in India by Nikhil Mandalaparthy at The Aspen Institute.