Farmers’ Protest: International pressure mounts on India

After Canadian PM, UK MPs back Indian farmers

farmers protest

As fresh fallout of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s expression of solidarity with India’s farming community that is protesting recent agricultural legislations, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar has reportedly pulled out of an upcoming international meeting led by Canadian ministers on strategies to combat Covid-19.  

The meeting organised by Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne is scheduled to take place on December 7. But the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) cited “scheduling issues” as the reason for Jaishankar’s absence.

While addressing the participants at an online meeting organised to celebrate the birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak on Monday, November 30, Trudeau had said, “Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest.”  

Following this there was tremendous outrage in the Indian administration that summoned the Canadian High Commissioner. The MEA said, “The Canadian High Commissioner was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs today and informed that comments by the Canadian Prime Minister, some Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament on issues relating to Indian farmers constitute an unacceptable interference in our internal affairs. Such actions, if continued, would have a seriously damaging impact on ties between India and Canada.” The MEA’s statement further added, “These comments have encouraged gatherings of extremist activities in front of our High Commission and Consulates in Canada that raise issues of safety and security. We expect the Canadian Government to ensure the fullest security of Indian diplomatic personnel and its political leaders to refrain from pronouncements that legitimize extremist activism.”

But this hasn’t stopped other members of the international community from showing support for protesting Indian farmers. 36 Members of the British Parliament have now come out in support of the agitation. They have appealed to British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to raise the matter with Indian authorities. Labour Party’s Tanmanjit Singh Dhesi has written to Raab saying, “This is an issue of particular concern to Sikhs in the UK and those linked to Punjab, although it also heavily impacts on other Indian states.” He adds, “The Punjabi community is widely recognized as the backbone of the state’s economic structure and the farmers’ concerns are a powerful faction in national and state politics.”

The entire letter may be read here:


Dhesi also tweeted the following video in Punjabi language addressing the issue:


The Sikh diaspora is strong in both Canada and UK, and many other countries across the world, who could all join the chorus demanding justice from the Indian farmer in the coming days.



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