Letter to MP

Please send the letter below to your constituency MP (You can find contact details for your MP here: https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP)

Dear [MPs name]

Controversial Indian laws that open the flood gates to exploit farmers

The Indian government has recently passed three laws that impact on farmers and those linked to farming. Those directly affected are of the view that the laws fail to protect farmers from exploitation and to ensure fair prices for their produces. These laws if implemented could lead to large corporate entities taking advantage of farmers.

As the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill became law, they triggered widespread farmers’ protests across the country despite the coronavirus.

The protests against the government’s agricultural reforms are escalating, especially in Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh. The farmers’ concerns are still a powerful factor in national politics and the farmers unions are boycotting political leaders.

Those living abroad like myself with links to family in Punjab where farming is vital are deeply concerned about the impact of these new laws on the livelihoods of those linked to farming. They believe their families will be devastated if these laws are enforced. There have already been several protests in Birmingham and London against the actions of the Indian government.

Punjab is known as “India’s bread-basket” with many of the people of Punjab relying on farming for their existence. About three-quarters of the state’s 30 million-strong population is involved in agriculture. Therefore, these new laws present the people of Punjab with a massive problem with some describing it as a “death warrant” and protests are expected to continue.

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, one of the Vice Chairs of the APPG for British Sikhs has approached Lord Ahmad and requested he spare an hour to attend a virtual Zoom meeting. It is hoped this meeting can take place in the next two weeks before the 23 October recess. When the meeting is confirmed I will let you know and hope you will be able to attend the meeting to raise my concerns.

The meeting will be similar to the very successful virtual Zoom lobby that took place on Ant-Sikh hate on Tuesday 6 October where more than 40 MPs took part and hundreds of Sikh constituents across the UK observed on the Zoom call or watched deliberations live on Facebook.

In the meantime, can you raise this issue on my behalf with the Indian High Commission in London and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office so they can take it up directly with the Indian government.

Please send me a copy of any letters you send and responses when they are received.

Yours sincerely,

Name and full address, including postcode

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