The announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday to repeal the three contentious farm laws will bring to an end the year-long confrontation between the government and the farmers, which has left more than 700 dead in its wake.
The three laws raised concerns that this will lead to the abolishment of the minimum support price (MSP) guaranteed by the government on select crops and leave farmers at the mercy of big corporates.
Since these laws were promulgated, thousands of farmers gathered at Delhi’s borders demanding their repeal, pushing the SAD to quit the NDA government at the Centre. The protests, which have generated huge public sentiment, also evoked responses from teen environmentalist, Greta Thunberg, singer-activist Rihanna and lawyer-author Meena Harris, niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris.
Here’s a timeline of events since the laws were introduced:
- June 5, 2020: The government promulgates three farm bills.
- September 14, 2020: Ordinance is brought to Parliament.
- September 17, 2020: Ordinance is passed in Lok Sabha.
- September 20, 2020: Ordinance is passed in Rajya Sabha by voice vote.
- September 24, 2020: Farmers in Punjab announce a three-day rail roko.
- September 25, 2020: Farmers across India come out in protest in response to a call by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC).
- September 26, 2020: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) quits the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance over the farm bills.
- September 27, 2020: The farm bills are given presidential assent and notified in the Gazette of India and become farm laws.
- November 25, 2020: Farmers’ unions in Punjab and Haryana give the call for a ‘Delhi Chalo’ movement; denied permission by Delhi Police due to Covid protocols.
- November 26, 2020: Farmers marching towards Delhi face water cannons, tear gas as police tried to disperse them at Haryana’s Ambala district.
- November 28, 2020: Union Home Minister Amit Shah offers to hold talks with farmers as soon as they vacate Delhi’s borders and move to the designated protest site in Burari. However, farmers rejected his offer.
- December 3, 2020: The government held first round of talks with representatives of farmers but the meeting remains inconclusive.
- December 5, 2020: The second round of talks between farmers and the Centre also remained inconclusive.
- December 8, 2020: Farmers give a call for Bharat Bandh. Farmers from other states also gave their support to the call.
- December 9, 2020: Farmer leaders reject the Union government’s proposal to amend the three contentious laws.
- December 11, 2020: Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) moves the Supreme Court against the agri laws.
- December 13, 2020: Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad allege hand of ‘tukde tukde’ gang in the farmers’ protests.
- December 30, 2020: Sixth round of talks between government and farmer leaders see some headway.
- January 4, 2021: Seventh round of talks between the government and farmer leaders also remain inconclusive with the Centre not agreeing to repeal the farm laws.
- January 7, 2021: The SC agrees to hear petitions challenging the new laws and those against the protests on January 11.
- January 11, 2021: The SC raps the Centre for its handling of the farmers’ protest.
- January 12, 2021: The SC stays implementation of the farm laws; sets up a four-member committee to make recommendations on the legislations.
- January 26, 2021: On Republic Day, thousands of protestors clash with police during the tractor parade called by farmer unions. At Red Fort, property is damaged. A protester dies in the chaos.
- January 29, 2021: The government proposes to suspend the farm laws for one-and-half years and sets up a joint committee to discuss the legislation. The farmers, reject the proposal.
- February 5, 2021: The Delhi Police’s cyber crime cell registers an FIR against creators of a ‘toolkit’ on farmer protests, which was shared by teen environmentalist Greta Thunberg.
- February 6, 2021: Protesting farmers hold a nationwide ‘Chakka Jam’, or road blockade, for three hours from 12 noon to 3 pm.
- March 6, 2021: Farmers complete 100 days at Delhi’s borders.
- March 8, 2021: Gunshots are fired near the Singhu border protest site. No one is injured.
- April 15, 2021: Haryana Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to resume talks with farmers.
- May 27, 2021: Farmers observe a ‘black day’ to mark six months of the agitation, and burn effigies of the government.
- June 5, 2021: Protesting farmers observe Sampoorn Krantikari Diwas (total revolution day) to mark the first year of the promulgation of the farm laws.
- June 26, 2021: Farmers march to Delhi to mark seven months of protest against the farm laws.
- July 22, 2021: About 200 protesting farmers start a parallel “Monsoon Session”, Kisan Sansad, near the Parliament House.
- August 7, 2021: Leaders of 14 opposition parties meet at Parliament House and decide to visit Kisan Sansad at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.
- September 5, 2021: Months to go for the Uttar Pradesh election, challenging the BJP-led NDA, farmer leaders stage a major show of strength in Muzaffarnagar.
- October 22, 2021: The SC observes that it was not against people’s right to protest even on matters that are sub judice, but makes it clear that such protesters cannot block public roads indefinitely.
- October 29, 2021: The Delhi Police starts removing barricades from the Ghazipur border where farmers have been protesting against the Centre’s agri laws.
- November 19, 2021: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces the repeal of the farm laws.
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