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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/7/21

Wisconsin's assembly speaker supports Indian farmers' protests

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The Speaker of Wisconsin State Assembly, Robin J Vos, has urged the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to reconsider its decision on the three farm laws and listen to the concerns of the farmers who are protesting near the Indian capital, New Delhi.

Robin J Vos expressed his support in a letter to India's Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu. He also wrote a similar letter to US Ambassador to India Ken Juster.

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and UP have been protesting at the borders of Delhi since November 24 demanding to scrap the three farm laws. Calling these laws as "anti-farmer", these farmers believe that the newly enacted bills would dismantle the minimum support-price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporations.

He is the latest US leader who expressed concern of the farmers' protest. Last month seven US legislators have written to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting him to raise with his Indian counterpart the issue of farmer's protest.

On January 4 Robin J Vos wrote: "One thing Wisconsin and India may have in common is our large agricultural economies. The farmers of our state are a very large part of our overall economy. It would be unfathomable to me that we would make law changes that affect them without taking their input into account, or by shutting them down as they exercised their right to peaceably assemble.

"Hopefully, the Modi government will reconsider its decision and sit down with the affected farmers to listen to their concerns," Vos said.

"Recently, I was made aware of three new laws that may have a great impact on the farmers of Punjab. It is my understanding that these three laws were implemented with little to no consultation with this large community of farmers, and have sparked massive protests in Delhi," Vos said in his letter to Sandhu.

"While my job does not usually call me to opine on relations between the United States and other countries, I write as a US citizen who represents Indians in Wisconsin. I ask that in your consultations with Prime Minister Modi you convey my concern for violations of human civil rights and the right to peaceably protest," he said in his letter to the Indian ambassador.

In his letter to US Ambassador to India Ken Juster, Vos said he was writing as a US citizen who represents Indians in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has a sizeable Sikh population.

"I ask that in your consultations with Prime Minister Modi and his government, that you convey a concern for violations of human civil rights and the right to peaceably protest. I trust you agree that these are fundamental bedrocks in American society and we should do all we can in our diplomatic relations to ensure that they are bedrocks in the countries with which we have diplomatic ties," Vos wrote.

A prominent Sikh American in Wisconsin, Darshan Singh Dhaliwal, welcomed the letters written by Vos and said that farmers of the entire India, not only Punjab, were suffering.

"Repeal of the three farmers' laws is the right thing to do. Farmers do not want these laws," said Dhaliwal who left for India on Tuesday to show solidarity with the protesting farmers.

He said he was in talks with several US Congressmen for a visit to India to meet the protesting farmers and get a firsthand assessment of the situation on the ground.

In December, seven US legislators have written to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting him to raise with his Indian counterpart the issue of farmer's protest.

This issue in particular concerns the Sikh American's community connected to Punjab, although it also heavily affects Indian Americans belonging to other Indian states, the lawmakers said in their letter to Pompeo, dated December 23.

In sending the letter Indian-American Democrat Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal joined five other democrats - Donald Norcross, Brendan F Boyle, Brian Fitzpatrick, Debbie Dingell and David Trone. Republican Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon joined the fellow Democrats to sign the letter to the Secretary of State.

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Abdus-Sattar Ghazali Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 
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