As COVID rages through India, which has the second-highest number of reported cases worldwide, hundreds of thousands of farmers are converging on the capital New Delhi to demand the government repeal new laws that deregulate agricultural markets, saying the reforms give major corporations power to set crop prices far below current rates and devastate the livelihoods of farmers. Agriculture is the leading source of income for more than half of India’s 1.3 billion people. The farmer revolt comes as some 250 million workers across the country took part in the largest strike in history against the Modi government’s neoliberal labor reforms. We speak with P. Sainath, a longtime Indian journalist and the founder of People’s Archive of Rural India, or PARI, who describes why working-class Indians are standing up against “absolutely vicious” new rules that were rammed through Parliament, and the protests show no signs of stopping.
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