For just over half a year now, farmers in India have been protesting recent laws that have been passed to support corporate farms, or otherwise not lending a helping hand to small, local farms. This leaves community farms alone and unprotected from cheap labor, and our Minnesota State University, Mankato International students fearful of their family’s lives.
MNSU senior Trivedi (who asked that his full name not be published) said some farmers are struggling to survive.
“Our farmers are no longer protected by the government,” he said. “Every supply a farmer needs comes from their own pocket, and since the profit hasn’t changed in 10 years, these farmers are lucky if they can earn any money from their work.”
Ayush Sharma, a junior at MNSU, agrees that these farmers are struggling and need help.
“Our government is trying to become more privatizing and in the end this won’t help the farmers and their family,” Sharma said. “The whole issue is a political thing and we need to help our people.”
Trivedi and Sharma said their families aren’t directly involved with the issues at hand, but they very well could be at some point.
“My parents are farmers and they are angry,” Sharma said. “Not everyone will be happy with the bills our government passes but we should allow our farmers to be more manageable.”
Another issue with the protests is the lack of media revealing the truth of what’s taking place. Trivedi explained how the national news stopped covering these protests but instead smaller news and YouTube channels would post video coverage of what was taking place at the capitol.
There have also been conversations about these protests on Twitter, but many people receive backlash for speaking out, and end up deleting their posts. The two students shared their beliefs on people being able to use their voice for the greater good.
Bouncing off of this, Sharma stated, “We need to get ground coverage of what’s really happening. We need correct information from people who are really there to prevent false information from being thrown around”
Despite the protests taking place on the other side of the world, MNSU students should be tuned in to the events taking place and recognize the importance of them.
“The protests in India might not directly affect the MNSU community, but it’s still important for people to be knowledgeable about what’s taking place,” Trivedi said. “We care about the protests here in America, so please care about the protests in our homeland.”
Stirring conversation about these protests can start small and create a domino effect, as Trivedi discussed.
“I was happy to hear about you covering this topic. We need to start small. If the school will cover this story then other schools will hear about it and share their stories as well. This is important because sometimes my friends and I won’t even know what’s going on.”