Punjabi NRIs in Canada, Italy, USA, UK, France protest farm legal guidelines

Sukhmeet Bhasin
Tribune News Service
Bathinda, October 14

Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in Canada, Italy, USA, UK and France have expressed support for farmers and are staging protests against the three farm bills passed by the Union Government recently.

A ‘Kisan March’ was held from Dashmesh Darbar Gurdwara, Surrey to Holland Park in Surrey City Centre in Canada’s British Columbia recently. NRIs from the Punjabi community lashed out at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Government for “targeting farmers during the crisis of COVID-19 pandemic”.

A protest rally was held in Toronto on October 11. The protesters, on motorcycles, cars and trucks, held placards and flags against the newly-enacted farm laws. This rally started from Gurudwara Guru Nanak Mission Center, Brampton, passed through Ontario Khalsa Darbar at Mississauga, and ended at the Sikh Spiritual Center at Toronto. The protesters stated that they were “fighting for their rights, respect and freedom”.

A demonstration was also held at Calgary in Canada where protesters shouted slogans against the union government over the passing of the bills. In solidarity with farmers, they demanded that the bills be revoked at the earliest.

In France, NRIs raised ‘Kisan Bachao-Punjab Bachao’ slogans and raised questions on the working of the NDA government over the passing of farm laws. The protesters, mostly of Punjabi origin, were also seen holding placards stating “Mein virodh karda han, is kale kanoon da (I protest against these black laws)”.

In California, Punjabis held a protest outside the Indian consulate in San Francisco on October 4.

In Italy’s Milan, Punjabis, led by Sukhchain Singh Mann, organised a protest march, where they announced that if the farm laws were not revoked, they would hold a protest outside the UN office in the coming days.

A “Kisaan Rally” was also organised in west London “in solidarity” with farmers in Punjab a few days back. NRIs in London, UK announced widespread protests against Modi, if the farm laws were not rolled back.

Rajwinder Singh from Vancouver in Canada said: “I came to Canada around five years back and have agriculture land in Punjab. I feel that these reform bills have been passed to crush the small farmers, so there is a need for everyone to come out and support our Punjabi farmers.”

Bhajan Singh of Calgary said the laws were a direct attack on small and marginal farmers, who owned plots of fewer than 5 acres. They will be employees at their own land and landlords and corporates will rule, he said.

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