Indian Police Block Roads Ahead of Farmers' March to New Delhi

  • Indian police have erected cement blocks and laid barbed wire fences along the edges of New Delhi as farmers march towards the capital city. This is similar to demonstrations from almost four years ago. Al Jazeera (a) (LR: 2 CP: 1)
  • The police have also planted nails, parking cranes, excavators, and containers on many roads leading to the city, with up to 5K security personnel also reportedly deployed at entry points. NDTV.com
  • Up to 20K farmers from the neighboring Haryana and Uttar Pradesh states plan to join the march into Delhi on Tuesday to protest against a lack of minimum price from the government for their produce — a government promise made in 2021 that it has yet to deliver on. Independent (LR: 2 CP: 3)
  • Delhi has been on high alert for 30 days, with gatherings of over four people as well as loudspeakers and "verbal, written or electronic" speech that violates public order, barred. Bloomberg (LR: 3 CP: 5)
  • In 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government was forced to repeal three new farm laws that were perceived as anti-farmer after tens of thousands staged a year-long protest on Delhi's outskirts. Al Jazeera (b) (LR: 3 CP: 5)
  • This follows similar protests from farmers in European nations like France, Germany, and Belgium who demonstrated against rising debt and cheaper imports, as well as other factors. Firstpost

Pro-establishment narrative:

  • Farmers are well within their rights to protest peacefully to air their grievances. However, other ordinary citizens also have a right to travel and arrive at destinations with minimal hurdles. As was ruled on by the court three years ago, the right to protest cannot overshadow the latter. The protesters, therefore, cannot be allowed to block roads — especially the ones leading to the national capital.
    INDIA TODAY (LR: 3 CP: 5)

Establishment-critical narrative:

  • While the government may try to stop individual gatherings as they did during the last protest, Indian farmers from across the country will be out in force until the government finally decides to fulfill its promises. The people who put food on Indian tables want to be treated with respect, which is why they're demanding sovereignty over their farmland, government debt relief, and livable wage increases.
    OPINDIA

Nerd narrative:

  • There is a 50% chance that India will score at least 6.3 in the Democracy Index in 2030, according to the Metaculus forecasting community.
    METACULUS (LR: 3 CP: 3)
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