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Farmers’ Protest 2020-21: When the Bonfire is of Farm Laws

The year 2020 brought sweeping changes. First, it was the Coronavirus. Next came the farm laws, which triggered a strong farmers’ protest. Despite the intervention of the Supreme Court, the protest burns like wildfire.

Shipra Singh
Farmer Protect
Bonfire of Farm Laws

Coronavirus and farmers’ protest – the year 2020 made history, for all the unhappy reasons.  

Coronavirus forced us to lock ourselves in homes. Farm Bills invoked a strong farmers’ protest from the farmers and forced them to come out on roads.  

Here are glimpses of what all happened and is still happening.  

August 2020: Farmers’ Protest Begins in Punjab 

Farmers’ protest had actually started as soon as the news of the farm bills came out in public. This was mostly in Punjab and on a small scale. Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan joined the protest.  

September 20, 2020: Passing of Farm Bills  

On September 20, 2020, the Government of India passed three farm laws that created a strong rippling effect in the farming community.  

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, approved the bills on September 27, 2020.  

Prime Minister’s Message to India  

According to the Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the bills promise to “ensure a complete transformation of the agriculture sector.” He regarded the passing of bills or acts as a “watershed moment” that would go down in the history of agriculture of India.  

Despite the farm bills passed by much fervor by the government, it did not go down well with the farmers of India.  

September 25, 2020: The Call for Bharat Bandh  

Farm unions called for a nationwide bandh on September 25, 2020. States like Punjab, Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh witnessed widespread protests.  

The protest fever spread to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and Odisha. Slowly, farmers from all over India joined the protest.  

November 26, 2020: Farmers’ protest reaches Delhi 

The movement, ‘Dilli Chalo,’ came into force. Farmer unions, tens of thousands of them, marched to Delhi.  

The day saw a general strike across the nation. It saw the participation of nearly 250 million people who supported the farmers.  


November 30, 2020: Bordering the National Capital of India  

By November 30, 2020, between 2 lakh and 3 lakh farmers showed their presence at different border points of Delhi.  

The protest had gained momentum.  

December First Week, 2020: The Yes or No   

December saw a series of meetings between farmers and the central government. They all failed to reach any conclusion. Farmers wanted a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ reply from the government regarding the farm laws.  

December Second Week, 2020: Nationwide Strike  

Due to the inconclusiveness of the previous talks, farmers called for a nationwide strike again on December 8, 2020.  

On December 12, 2020, farmer unions reached highway toll plazas of Haryana.  

Mid December 2020: The Supreme Court Intervenes 

The Supreme Court of India asks the central government to put farm laws on hold. The Government refuses.  

Petitions begin to pile up in the court seeking the removal of road blockages from borders.  

December End, 2020: A ray of Hope Emerges 

The central government agrees to two farmers’ demands:  

1. They drop farmers from the new pollution laws

2. They hold back amendments to the new Electricity Ordinance

January 2021: Farmers’ Protest fire still burns  

By January 6, 2021, farmer union leaders and the government met 8 times.  

By second week of January, the Supreme Court puts the three farm laws on hold.  

Happy Lohri, or is it? 

This Lohri, protesting farmers intend to burn copies of the new farm laws.  

The fire continues to burn and we hope the “protest” gets converted into “progress” for farmers. 

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