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New laws will break the backbone of the agricultural sector: Arundhati Roy | India News

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PUNE: The eminent novelist and essayist Arundhati Royon spoke on Saturday in support of the farmers who are agitating on the Delhi borders and said that the new agricultural laws they oppose will only help the business sector.
Speaking at Elgar Parishad, a conclave, here, Roy also criticized the BJP governments in the center and in the states over issues such as anti-conversion laws and blockade.
“It is very important to us to support farmers,” said the Man Booker award-winning writer.
“The new farm laws will break the backbone of the agricultural sector and give control to the corporations,” he said, alleging that the Union government was trying to discredit the unrest.
Roy referred to the arrests of several left-wing activists, including Sudha Bharadwaj, under the Illicit Activity (Prevention) Act following the December 2017 Elgar Parishad in Pune.
As in the case of the ongoing peasant movement, there were attempts to discredit Elgar Parishad and the activists associated with him by calling them “urban naxals,” he alleged.
All jailed activists should be released immediately, he demanded.
“During the shutdown, when thousands of people lost their jobs, the wealth of industrialists grew by 35 percent,” he accused.
He also criticized the BJP-led Union government for announcing the coronavirus lockdown in March last year only four hours in advance, calling it an “ambush.”
Criticizing ordinances issued by BJP-ruled states to criminalize ‘fraudulent’ religious conversions, Roy said that many Muslim youth and families have been targeted under the garb of these laws.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting since the end of November on Delhi’s borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, demanding a roll back of the Trade in Agricultural Products and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) Act of 2020, the Farmers Agreement (Empowerment and Protection ) on Price Assurance and Agricultural Services Act of 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act of 2020.
Protesting farmers have expressed fear that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the “mercy” of large corporations.
However, the government has argued that the new laws will provide better opportunities for farmers and introduce new technologies in agriculture.

Times of India

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