Super Bowl features 30-second farmers protest advertisement

The Fresno Sikh community along with the city Mayor expressed solidarity with Indian farmers in their battle to assert their basic human rights.

farmers protest

Popular American football championship Super Bowl featured a 30-second commercial on February 7, 2021 in favour of the on-going farmers struggle in India, calling the movement “the largest protest in history” said The Hindu.

The commercial began with a quote from Martin Luther King: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” This was followed by snapshots of the farmers’ tractor parade and their border camps overlaid with text alleging human rights violations against protesters. Punjabi music also played as the screen flashed the words “No Farmers, No Food, No Future.”

The airing of this advertisement during one of the most-watched sports events of America, was funded by a Sikh community in Fresno city of central California that enjoys a large Sikh population –  40,000 people as per local reports.

The video that was aired in parts of the US also included a message from Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer along with a mention of pop music icon Rihanna’s viral tweet regarding the protests.

“We want you to know, our brothers and sisters in India, that we stand with you,” said Dyer.

Later, the social media platform of the Kisan Ekta Morcha, the official voice of protesting farmers, thanked the Fresno community for putting up the advertisement. The 30-second spot for Super Bowl 2021 cost $5.5 million for a viewership that was around 100 million in 2020.

As per the video editor “Teji Video” Instagram update, the commercial was scheduled to air between 3 PM and 3.30 PM Fresno time, right before the Super Bowl game began on Sunday. The farmers movement against the three laws – the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act – has attracted international attention over the past two to three months.

Other than Rihana, climate activist Greta Thunberg, MPs from Britain and Canada, American vlogger Amanda Cerny, media personality Mia Khalifa and many others have voiced their solidarity with Indian farmers. Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs rebuked Rihanna and Thunberg in its official statement. Farmers’ organisations have in turn thanked the international expression of solidarity and asked for the release of detained farmers who were arrested after Republic Day events.


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