Palestinian Civil Society Salutes Indian Farmers
Friday, 26th November, marked one year since farmers from across India, represented by our allies All India Kisan Sabha and other organizations under the united platform of Samyukta Kisan Morcha, launched their inspiring struggle against neoliberal laws newly introduced by the far-right Modi government. The farmers’ demands include the repeal of these laws that sought to legalize already entrenched corporate control of Indian agriculture. A year on, after adamant refusals, Indian Prime Minister has announced the revocation of the three contentious farm laws. As the farmers continue their protests for the rest of their demands, we salute them for their indefatigable spirit and their powerful resistance in the face of violence and repression.
Among the primary issues of the protests is the corporate takeover of agriculture through means such as contract farming. This model was introduced in the 90s by a consortium of Israeli companies, including Netafim, through the ‘Kuppam project’ in Andhra Pradesh. While it continues to sell its unsustainable products to Indian farmers, with devastating effects on sustainable farming, Netafim reaps profits from Indian states’ subsidies and uses these profits in furthering Israel’s system of colonial oppression against Indigenous Palestinians. Netafim provides services to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and is involved in dispossession of Palestinian farmers in the Jordan valley. It greenwashes its complicity in Israel’s decades-old regime of military occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid through the business it does in India and other parts of the world.
In 2017, All India Kisan Sabha, representing 16 million farmers and part of the organizations leading the farmers protests, endorsed the BDS call. Our struggles are in a conversation, as they defend land and resources of indigenous people resisting colonial and corporate dispossession. A growing number of political and cultural organizations and individuals in India are joining forces with the movement, challenging the Hindutva-Zionism alliance which spans from arms trade to ideological exchanges. Those that oppress us are in collusion. But with our intersectional struggles, we will prevail as the recent victory of the Indian farmers movement shows.