New Delhi: A full page advertisement in the New York Times is the latest instance of international attention being focused on the ongoing farmer protests in India.
The ad was paid for by Justice for Migrant Women, an advocacy group that focuses on amplifying voices of migrant women globally. The organisation was founded by Monica Ramirez, an American civil rights attorney and activist.
About 75 civil rights organisations have also been listed as signatories under the ad.
Further, the group posted a short video on the issue on its Facebook page.
This is the first time the group has raised the issue of Indian farmers on its social media platforms. In fact, it did not earlier discuss other major issues that cropped up in the country, such as the migrant exodus that followed the coronavirus lockdown last year.
In the past, Ramirez has been vocal about farm issues within the US, especially in demanding an end to racial and gender inequality in pay, and advocating for Latina women in US farms.
We don't pay less for food harvested by farmworker women. Why should they be paid less? Farmworker women are often paid less than male workers & at times their wages are paid to male family members. We must #DemandMore for the farmworker women & girls #LatinaEqualPay pic.twitter.com/e0saaJgq07
— Monica Ramirez (@MonicaRamirezOH) October 29, 2020
Apart from supporting the voices of migrant women, the group is also vocal on discrimination, violence against migrant workers, safety for child farm labourers, equal pay and other labour protections. It has most recently aired concerns about essential workers’ access to vaccines.
Also read: Farmers’ protests are the birth pangs of a more urbanised India
What the ad says
This is what the headline of the full page ad says: “We — farmers, activists and citizens of the World — stand in solidarity with farmers in India protesting to protect their livelihoods.”
It goes on to say that the Modi government “hastily” passed the three new laws “without due deliberation”.
“Nearly one million farmers are peacefully organising and protesting but the Indian government has responded with state-sanctioned violence, including the use of tear gas, water cannons, mass arrests and indefinite detention. These human rights abuses must end now,” it added.
New York Times, Page A5.
Farmers, activists, rights organisations across the world take a full page in the NyTimes.
Now what, Modi government will use the tax payers’ money for a tit for tat? pic.twitter.com/Dq2GIjAsEq
— Vinod K. Jose (@vinodjose) February 16, 2021
It further went on to say the protests are a matter of life and death for the farmers and that India’s actions “run counter to the fundamental values shared by all democracies”.
In the video posted to its Facebook page, the group says farmers have taken their protests from “the fields of Punjab to the villages of Kerala to the streets of New Delhi”. However, it makes no mention of the violent protests that broke out on Republic Day in Delhi.
The group has also built a dedicated tab on its website which features the ad and video on the protests.
Also read: Radical group ‘Sikhs For Justice’ speaks up for Disha, Nikita, Deep Sidhu & Nodeep on YouTube
Some Indian names associated with the organisation include film maker and activist Valarie Kaur, a third generation Sikh based in the US, whose family settled in the country as farmers in 1913.
Her organisation ‘The Revolution Love Project’ is a signatory to the ad.
Other signatories include Sapna NYC, an NGO serving low-income South Asian women, South Asian Americans Leading Together, a non-partisan, non-profit organisation fighting for racial justice in the US led by Lakshmi Sridharan, and Hindus for Human Rights, a US-based advocacy group for religious pluralism.
Other organisations that are signatories to the ad include Amnesty International USA, 18 Million Rising, Illinois Migrant Council and Justice for Muslims Collective.
Also among the signatories are British comedian Ahir Shah, popular Indian-American writer and trans activist Alok Vaid-Menon, musician Anoushka Shankar, human rights lawyer Arjun Sethi, writer and activist Fawzia Mirza, journalist Hitha Herzog, author Kiran Desai, comedian Lilly Singh, dancer Mythili Prakash and journalist Suchitra Vijayan, founder and executive director of The Polis Project, a hybrid research-journalism organisation.
Also read: What is toolkit? Document key to tech-era protests that has landed Disha, Nikita in trouble
All these people writing against Indian farm laws but earning in dollars have not idea what farm laws are
And I can bet in millions
These laws will make sure farmers in one grows multi folds
But that doesn’t matter , their real intention is to derail India
The Modi government was voted in by Indians not by world. So if they want they will get rid of him, not the adds in NY times.
Very refreshing. This projects India as a real democracy which can embrace all views and still move on with what is best for the Nation. These expositions, so to speak, should be used by India to showcase its resolve to evolve and make progress. The way to handle these is the way you handle trades in stock markets. Listen to everybody, but your trade should be based on your analysis and plans to be a winner.
The Western media, especially a majority of the media in USA and UK do not cause so much of an awe, say, as it did a few decades back.
Honey, it is, as always, all about money.
Foreign Hands just got a big boost!
again who is ultimately funding the NGOs?
Begane shaadi me abdullah diwana!
The way Americans treat their farmworkers will lead you to believe India treats them like kings and queens. It is so bad that most hard work on farms is done by immigrant labour from South America — and most are protected from labour protections, minimum wage limits, and live in appalling conditions. If they paid anymore, your tomatoes will cost 4x more — ask the same liberals if they will accept that.
The Sikh diaspora has consistently been disloyal to India.
Maybe they have not forgotten the 1984 pogroms against their community that Hindus like you carried out.
Vinod Jose – the name says it all. A rice bag convert.
Mr Bishakha Sinha: Clearly, since you cannor counter-argue, you resort to the technique they taught you at you shaka – abuse, question the religion of the person arguing, call him an anti-national and so on.
I suggest you go back to getting high on gomutra hooch and playing with your lathi.
They all can shove the paper up where the sun does not shine.
OK. Let New York Toilet Paper Times do whatever they want. Your toilet paper your wish.
Please don’t give importance to NY times it is not a hold standard for journalism let the people who are spending money waste their dollars. NY times have been proven wrong on every count regarding India
“.. NY times have been proven wrong on every count regarding India ..”
Any examples to substantiate your braying Mr Radhakrishna Nidamarthy ?
Goodness. This may not be good news for a lot young students, activists, decent people who may have any remote connects with these groups. Hope they will not be persecuted.
Govt should sanction all indian origin people carrying out such activities,govt should also put lifetime ban on their entry into india, any collaboration between these people & any organisation working in india in different fields should be banned completely
Vinayak you are a Khalnayak.
Why so? If I may ask? The laws are our ‘internal matter’. we should ignore it. Right?
Should you also ban the remittances they send to India Mr VInayak?
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