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The Farmers Protest and the Future of India

February 25, 2021 - 9:00am to 10:30am
Zoom Webinar
Aarti Sethi

Beginning in November 2020 over 300,000 farmers from the northern Indian state of Punjab have been sitting in protest against three new agricultural laws on the borders of India’s capital, New Delhi. On the 26th of November over 250 million working people across the country declared a general strike in support of this ongoing movement. The immediate impetus for these protests is the passing of three new Farm Bills by the BJP-led government that seek to decisively change the current landscape of agriculture by easing the entry of agri-business into the agricultural sector and move farming towards a corporatized model. Yet the protests have become much more than the Farm Bills. The farmers protesting on the borders of the national capital are asking much larger questions: Is there a different way to do agriculture which sees farming as the future not the past? Is agri-business and the corporate control of farming the only possible solution to rural distress and poverty? This panel discussion, led by Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UC Berkeley Aarti Sethi, will focus on what the roiling of the countryside has to do with the very structure and nature of economy and state power in contemporary India, and what possible futures agrarian India holds for a new democratic vision of society.

Event Sponsor: 
the Institute for South Asia Studies, UC Berkeley in collaboration with the Center for South Asia at Stanford University
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