New Delhi: After constant protests for more than a year, the Narendra Modi government announced on Friday morning that it has decided to repeal the three contentious farm laws passed last year.
This decision has not come out of the blue – it is the outcome of sustained protests by farmers across the country, including the sit-in protest at Delhi’s borders at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur.
The protesting farmers haven’t had it easy. Estimates from farmers’ unions show that more 600 protestors lost their lives in the protests, largely small landholders and landless labourers.
In additions to natural barriers – rains, intense heat and biting cold, and different points in the year – the farmers also had to deal with a defiant government that put the police forces forward. From fixing to nails in the road to breaking a part of the highway, the police tried it all to restrict the protesters.
The photos below highlight the farmers’ steadfast dedication to their cause – and the government’s attempts to break it.
Farmers shout slogans as they take part in a three-hour “chakka jam” or road blockade, as part of protests against farm laws on a highway on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, February 6, 2021. Photo: Reuters/Adnan Abidi
A farmer rests as police officers stand guard during a protest against farm bills passed by India’s parliament, at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, in New Delhi, India, September 25, 2020. Photo: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui
Farmers gesture as they block a national highway during a protest against farm bills passed by India’s parliament, in Shambhu in Punjab, India, September 25, 2020. Photo: Reuters/Adnan Abidi
Farmers shout slogans as they block a railway track during a protest against farm bills passed by India’s parliament, in Devi Dasspura village on the outskirts of Amritsar, India, September 24, 2020. Photo: Reuters/Munish Sharma
Women farmers and their supporters during Kisan Sansad against the Centre’s farm laws at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, Monday, July 26, 2021. Photo: PTI
A security person keeps vigil near barbed barricades at Ghazipur border during the ongoing farmers protest. Photo: PTI
Police personnel placed iron nails near the barricades in an attempt to stop farmers from crossing Tikri border during their agitation against the new farm laws, in New Delhi, Monday, Feb. 01, 2021. Photo: PTI
An excavator digs a ditch next to a national highway to stop the farmers, who are protesting against the newly passed farm bills, to cross a state border in Rewari district in the northern state of Haryana, near New Delhi, India, December 12, 2020. Photo: Reuters/Adnan Abidi
Farmers at Tikri border on Friday, after Modi announced the repeal. Photo: Yaqut Ali
Farmers celebrate at Ghazipur border on Friday. Photo: Sumedha Pal