Agriculture

Podcast: For Farmers, the Protests Are Not Just About Incomes. The New Laws Will Destroy a Way of Life

In conversation with Dr Pritam Singh, professor at Oxford Brookes University..

For the last month and a half, Indian farmers have been protesting against the new farm laws passed by the Narendra Modi government. Farmers from Punjab and Haryana have been the most vocal, and have been camping on the borders of Delhi, braving the bitter cold.

They fear that the laws will take away their incomes and make them contract workers.

The situation is far more complex, says Dr Pritam Singh, professor at Oxford Brookes University. He says for the farmers, it is an existential crisis, because land and the village are central to the Punjabi imagination and the new laws will bring in corporate buyers who will alter the entire social structure.

The loss of incomes will be huge, he says in this interview with Sidharth Bhatia, but they perceive it as an existential crisis and the protests are a do or die battle.