Archive for April, 2021

[A Telugu translation of this article is included in Bharata Raitangam Pai Daadi (translator: P. Jamuna), the pdf of which can be found here.]

A tweet by Greta Thunberg (“We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India,”) provided ardent campaigners in favour of the Indian government’s neoliberal farm laws with a target for attack.

The arguments by these campaigners were very similar, rather as if they had been provided a common “toolkit” by the Government. The picture that emerges from their responses is that the protesting farmers, and in particular Punjabi farmers, are a sinister force, a pampered and subsidized “tribe”, depleting the water of future generations, poisoning the land and air, killing and maiming millions.

Shamika Ravi, former member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, tweeted: “The irony! Climate champion standing in support of farming practices that have led to poisoned land, vanishing water-table and the ‘cancer trains’.” Another neoliberal economist tweeted that “these farmers are anti-everything Greta Thunberg wants. They are depleting the groundwater table, causing massive air pollution by burning crops, overusing free electricity & subsidized diesels pumps”. The Economic Times commented: “Thunberg… doesn’t know the sustainability issues that dog Indian agriculture due to political pampering of a small tribe of well-to-do farmers”.


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