- The US said it supports measures to boost the effectiveness of India’s markets
- It said that any disagreements should be overcome by dialogue
- In support of the farmers’ demonstrations, many US lawmakers came out in support of them
Recognizing that peaceful protests are a hallmark of a prosperous democracy, the US said it welcomes steps to improve the effectiveness of India’s markets and attract more investment from the private sector.
In response to a question about the ongoing farmers’ protests in India, the State Department said on Wednesday that the US encourages any differences between the parties to be resolved through dialogue.
It indicates that the new Biden administration supports the Indian government’s effort to reform the agricultural sector, attracting private investment and increasing market access for farmers, a State Department spokesperson said: “In general, US welcomes steps that would improve the efficiency of India’s markets and attract greater private sector investment”.
The official said, ” We agree that peaceful demonstrations are a hallmark of any stable democracy and note that the same has been said by the Indian Supreme Court.”
On Wednesday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi released a statement to highlight that “reformist legislation” for the agricultural sector had been passed by the Parliament of India, which “a very small section of farmers” had some reservations about and hence the laws were kept on hold during talks.
Meanwhile, in support of the farmers’ demonstrations in India, many American lawmakers came out.
Congresswoman Haley Stevens said, ” I am worried about the reported actions against peaceful protesters in India protesting against new agricultural reform laws.”
Solidarity with all the farmers across India protesting for their livelihood.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 3, 2021
India must protect their basic democratic rights, allow for the free flow of information, reinstate internet access, and release all the journalists detained for covering the protests. https://t.co/uOvwNkIu5n
It’s no coincidence that the world’s oldest democracy was attacked not even a month ago, and as we speak, the most populous democracy is under assault. This is related. We ALL should be outraged by India’s internet shutdowns and paramilitary violence against farmer protesters. https://t.co/yIvCWYQDD1 pic.twitter.com/DxWWhkemxW— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) February 2, 2021
In a statement, she urged the Indian government and the protesting farmers’ representatives to participate in fruitful discussions.
Congresswoman Haley Stevens further stated, “I’ll continue to closely track this situation. Involving stakeholders around the district on this subject has been especially helpful and I remain grateful to those who have reached out to share their perspective.”
Another Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, expressed solidarity with all the farmers protesting in India for their livelihoods.
Ilhan Omar took to Twitter and showed her solidarity to farmers’ protest and wrote, “India must protect their basic democratic rights, allow for the free flow of information, reinstate internet access and release all the journalists detained for covering the protests.
Meena Harris, niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris, referring to the farmers’ demonstrations, alleged that the world’s largest democracy is under attack.
In a separate statement, Gurinder Singh Khalsa, chairman of the Sikhs Political Action Committee, said the protest of “historic” farmers turned out to be the “biggest-ever revolution” against the capitalism of the Indian government.
Khalsa, who is based in Indiana, said, “This is the beginning of a revolution toward crony capitalism for better governance and transparency. The world was watching, and now it has begun to respond and mobilize in support of this historic Indian farmers’ revolution. This would be larger than the Revolution of Independence of India.”
India referred to international leaders and organizations’ remarks on farmers’ protests as “ill-informed” and “unwarranted” claiming that the issue relates to a democratic country’s internal affairs.
Stressing that the protests must be seen in the sense of the democratic ethos and polity of India, the MEA claimed in its statement that some vested interest groups have attempted to mobilize international support against the government.
We will recommend that the truth be decided and a thorough understanding of the problems at hand be done before rushing to comment on such matters.
Following some high-profile celebrities tweeting over the farmers’ unrest, the MEA statement said, “The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible.”
Since November last year, thousands of farmers, primarily from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping at several border points in Delhi, demanding that the government revoke the three farm laws and the minimum support price (MSP) legal guarantee for their crops.
The MEA said, defending the three controversial agri laws, “These reforms provide increased market access and have given farmers greater flexibility. They also pave the way for farming that is economically and ecologically viable.”
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently reported that India’s new farm laws “potential to represent a significant step forward” in the agricultural sector reforms.
Gerry Rice, IMF Communications Director while talking to reporters last month said, “We believe the farm bills do have the potential to represent a significant step forward for agricultural reforms in India.” IMF Communications Director added, “The measures will enable farmers to directly contract with sellers, allow farmers to retain a greater share of the surplus by reducing the role of middlemen, enhance efficiency and support rural growth.”