Modi govt’s sheen wears off among Indian diaspora after brutal use of force on farmers

Punjabi NRIs, including MPs in Canada and UK, have strongly condemned the use of force by Haryana and Delhi police against Punjab farmers heading to Delhi to protest against farm laws

Representative Image (NH Photo by Vipin)
Representative Image (NH Photo by Vipin)

Bipin Bhardwaj

The favourable impression of the Modi government among Non Resident Indians (NRIs) across the world is fading fast owing to the brutal use of force on Punjab farmers heading towards Delhi in protest against newly introduced farm laws by the union government.

The mega 'Howdy, Modi!' event in Houston and various such other shows organised by Non Resident Indians (NRIs) in different countries to greet Prime Minister Narendra Modi left many people expecting 'wonders' from the NDA government, but they have been left shocked at the incidents of brutal use of force on farmers by the Haryana and Delhi governments in recent days.

The brutal assaults on the Punjab farmers by the BJP-led Haryana government under the prime ministership of Narendra Modi have, in fact, deeply hurt the NRI community. Punjabi NRIs, including MPs in Canada and UK have strongly condemned the use of force, teargas, water cannons and various other hurdles created by the Haryana and Delhi police for the Punjab farmers heading to Delhi as part of their ‘Delhi Chalo’ campaign.

Still deeply rooted to their country of origin, politicians and NRIs hailing from Punjab have extended their support to the protesting farmers morally as well as financially.

Social media has been flooded with comments by NRIs condemning the treatment given to the farmers by the Modi government.

Sharing a video clip of the farmers’ protest on Twitter, Preet Kaur Gill, MP from UK, wrote, “This is no way to treat citizens who are peacefully protesting over the controversial farmers’ bill in India”.

Canada Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan tweeted: “The reports of peaceful protesters being brutalized in India are very troubling. Many of my constituents have family there and are worried about the safety of their loved ones. Healthy democracies allow peaceful protest. I urge those involved to uphold this fundamental right.”

Another Punjabi Canadian MP Sukh Dhaliwal wrote: “The right to peaceful protest is fundamental in any democracy, especially in the world’s largest. I am very disturbed by the treatment of Punjabi farmers in India- this blatant abuse by Indian authorities is unacceptable. I stand with the Punjab farmers”.

A parliament secretary of British Columbia, Canada, Rachna Singh expressed displeasure in her comment: “I am really saddened by the way #Punjab Farmers are being treated. This is unaccepted”.

A young Canadian MP, Maninder Sidhu, shared a picture of use of water cannons on farmers and tweeted: “Many of my constituents and I are deeply concerned about the safety of our family and friends in India. The right to peaceful protest is a constitutional right. Farmers in India should be able to voice their opinions and protest peacefully without fear for their safety”.

“The Indian govt's use of water cannons and tear gas on farmers protesting mass privatization of the agricultural sector and unjust reform of farming laws is appalling. They deserve respect for feeding the nation instead of being subjected to state brutality,” said Gurratan Singh, an anti-racial activist in Canada.

Worried over brutality towards the Punjab farmers, Executive Chairman of ‘World Financial Group’, Canada, Raja Dhaliwal and his team donated Rs 25 lakh (about 50,000 Canadian dollars) as help and contribution in langar (community kitchen) to the farmers.

A post by UK MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi reads: “It takes a special kind of people to feed those ordered to beat and suppress them. I stand with farmers of Punjab and other parts of India, including our family and friends, who are peacefully protesting against the encroaching privatization of #FarmersBill 2020.”

Jagmeet Singh, NDP leader in Canada, tweeted: “The violence perpetrated by the Indian govt against farmers peacefully protesting is appalling. I stand in solidarity with the farmers from Punjab and across India - and, I call on the Indian govt to engage in peaceful dialogue rather than violence.”

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