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  • well, joining us now with the president of the Hindu form of Britain, Tripti Patel and Sunny Handle Ah, political commentator who writes for the online Blawg.

  • Open democracy.

  • Welcome to you both.

  • Tripti.

  • Can I start by asking you Good evening?

  • Um, the prime minister's obviously paying quite a price to try and get these reforms through.

  • What?

  • What's the benefit?

  • What's the What's the prize?

  • As far as the government is concerned, it's not just the government.

  • Uh, this reforms been needed for for a long period of time.

  • And previous governments actually commissioned, um, this one, the Swaminathan Committee and various other committees where it came out, that how can we make sure that our farmers I actually do better than what they've been subjected do?

  • How can they come out off the poverty trap?

  • How can they come out off not being in the shackles off the agriculture produced Monday's that you mentioned earlier on so long before the present Indian government started, started started the government.

  • It waas actually in the pipeline, and many states actually made those rules so that, for example, if we look at a Pepsi Pepsi company wanted potatoes or the crisp or if any other, like wine for the beer or any any other commodities there are.

  • There were certain routes, but everything was shackled, shackled in terms of very rigid regulations.

  • And when you look around the world, when you look at the agriculture laws of this country, modernization is required to meet the need off the other.

  • And modernization is something that should be helpful.

  • Toe everyone, and this is what the these laws are.

  • So if you look back, even there are, uh, there are newspaper clippings.

  • There are video recordings off many people who are actually objecting to these laws now.

  • Sunny handle.

  • Let's bring Sunny in here Tripti unexceptional in the sense that it's intended to improve productivity, taking the in agriculture into the modern age.

  • So why is it politically dangerous?

  • Do you think for Narendra Modi to press ahead with this Good evening.

  • I mean, look, it's a bit like, I think, putting a corner shop next to Tesco and saying to them, You know, go and compete against each other.

  • There's no doubt that India's, uh, you know, farm laws and its whole agriculture system needs modernization.

  • But the problem is most people who are farmers in India.

  • I think there is a There's a strong UK connection here because you have to remember there's 500,000 jobs in this country and they have a strong family links to Punjab.

  • That's why they're angry about these issues.

  • The problem is that you're putting these small businessmen and saying to them, Go and compete and work with these giant multinationals.

  • What's gonna happen?

  • What they're going to do is they're going to squeeze the small farmers.

  • I think that's the biggest worry for a lot of them in India, and that's why actually there's been so much interest off on this issue, even in the UK because, uh, you know, like I said, there's a There's a half a million jobs in this country in Canada in the United States and all these people have family links to what's going on in India.

  • They're interested in, uh, you know, the political affairs over there, but they're interested in what their families, how they're being affected by this whole situation, and most farmers across the country are saying this is gonna be bad for us.

  • You are putting us at the mercy off multinational corporations trip to that.

  • That's gotta be a point that people will just be rolled under the steam roller of big agribusiness at once.

  • These traditional protections were removed.

  • Well, if you think about it, there are 104 100 million farmers in India, and how many are protesting?

  • See what you got to look at it.

  • A swell is that it's not just the pin jobs who have got the links to the farming.

  • There are.

  • There are Gujarati is there are Biharis.

  • There are questions.

  • There are all sorts of Indians all over.

  • Indians living in this country have farming roots in India.

  • So So it is not fair to actually say that on leaping Giambi's.

  • And if you look at the whole situation out of 100 million farmers if, um, less than a percent 1% are actually, um, talking against it, then there is some concern, and the government actually talked to them 11 times on.

  • Uh, the the argument being put forward is that you've got to repeal this first.

  • Now you tell me first, Is there any government in the world?

  • That is when they put a law in with both houses off the parliament without any objections or obstructions.

  • With all proper process followed, then how can a handful of people say that repeal this law?

  • No.

  • The best thing is really to sit down together, the media together to go point by point and remove those points that you don't like it.

  • There is no agitation is okay, but you need to You need to negotiate to achieve something.

  • It's not in the interest off the your country or people or people living abroad like all of us.

  • Sonny, actually, let me bring you in.

  • Let Sorry, sorry, Tripti, but just picking up on your last point about the need to sit down and negotiate.

  • I just wanted to what extent?

  • The inter communal dynamic of this.

  • He's going to complicate those negotiations because it's obvious looking at the footage that a lot of Sikhs are involved in this protest on, I wondered to what extent that community feels that these laws are working particularly against their interests.

  • Well, it's not just seek Thio getting involved in these protests.

  • They've been protests all over the country, from the south to the east, to the west and the north, where Punjab is.

  • But you know, actually what's happening over there is gonna have a huge impact over here is well, And that's because you know what the government is doing now is trying to make this into a Sikh protests and say that these people are being led by extremists and their seeks, and they're trying to take the government into, you know, ruin the government.

  • And what it's doing is it's turning this whole issue into a seeks versus Hindu issue as a way to delegitimize the protests.

  • And that's dangerous because, like I said, there's 500,006 in this country.

  • There's 500,100 years a country as a result of this.

  • Yes, if there is violence in India, there's gonna be violence in this country.

  • That's what worries me.

  • And I think that we, as the government here, have a duty to tell the Indian government to calm down some of its rhetoric because it's really hate speech over there, and it's really dangerous.

  • Final answer Tripti Fair point there from Sunni need to cool this atmosphere now.

  • Well, absolutely.

  • In a sense that you need to talk.

  • Both sides need to come on the table.

  • Both sides need to start talking sense.

  • Okay?

  • I don't think that in this country we work on interfaith level.

  • We work on a local level, regional level.

  • We worked with the Hindu sick community is not separated because if you look back, the roots roots is in in this another way, the culture as we call it on the subcontinent.

  • So I can't see that the two communities could be at the loggerhead.

  • What we need is true.

  • It's actually happening.

  • It's already been happening over the last four years since you know what the Oh, I'm sorry.

  • I'm sorry.

  • We've got to end it there.

  • Sonny, Handle trip to Patel.

  • I'm so sorry.

  • We've just got to end it there.

  • We're out of time.

well, joining us now with the president of the Hindu form of Britain, Tripti Patel and Sunny Handle Ah, political commentator who writes for the online Blawg.

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Why are farmers protesting in India? - BBC Newsnight

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/16
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