By Akanksha Raj

Bharat bandh today: Farmers are demanding guaranteed crop prices, reviving a protest that succeeded in repealing three laws in 2021.

Gramin Bharat Bandh Today: Tens of thousands of farmers around the country are rallying for guaranteed crop prices, renewing a campaign that successfully abolished the Centre’s three unpopular agricultural policies in 2021. The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), which is affiliated with the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), has called for a Gramin Bharat Bandh on Friday, February 16, citing a slew of unmet farmer demands.

BKU leader Pawan Khatana claimed that farmers had been told to cease work for a day during his union’s “Bharat bandh” in order to press the government for demands. “Farmers have been asked to refrain from working on farms or shopping at markets. “Traders and transporters have also been encouraged to join the strike,” Pawan Khatana stated.

Bharat bandh: Why are farmers demanding?
The farmers, who rode in tractors and trucks from Haryana and Punjab, claimed the Centre had failed to meet several of their fundamental requests from earlier rallies. In 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked a set of agricultural laws that protesting farmers claimed would reduce their incomes.

However, farmers’ organizations have recently alleged that the government has made little progress on other critical requests, such as guaranteed crop prices, a doubling of farmers’ income, and loan forgiveness. The demand for legislation that guarantees minimum prices is central to their protests.

What is the demand?
Farmers are demanding legal assurances of a minimum support price (MSP), which serves as a safety net for the farming community. Farmers say that making MSP a legal guarantee will maintain their profit margins.
Along with this demand, farmers request the withdrawal of cases filed during the previous protest in 2020-21.

Their list of demands also includes farmer pensions, loan forgiveness, and exit from the World Trade Organisation.
Farmers also want the government to keep its commitment to quadruple their salaries, claiming that cultivation expenses have risen in recent years while incomes have stagnated, making farming a loss-making activity.
Farmers also want that the government ensure at least

Farmers’ protests: What occurred in 2021?
In November 2021, the government announced that the contentious laws will be abolished, which was largely interpreted as a triumph for farmers.

The government had defended the three farm laws as vital changes to modernise Indian farming, but farmers were concerned that the government’s move to implement market reforms in agriculture would make them poorer.

The protests, which began in northern India, sparked statewide demonstrations and garnered international support. Dozens of farmers perished as a result of suicide, harsh weather, and COVID-19.

When the Modi government scrapped the farm rules in 2021, it stated that it would form a council of producers and government officials to determine how to ensure support prices for all commodities. Farmers accuse the government of being tardy to deliver that commitment.

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