36 British MPs seek Intervention in India’s Farmers Protest

Labour Party’s Tanmanjit Singh Dhesi, as well as 35 other British MP’s, have called for UK’s interference in the farmers’ protests in India.

36 British MPs seek Intervention in India's Farmers Protest ft

"This is of particular concern to Sikhs in Britain and those associated with Punjab."

Members of the British Parliament on December 4, 2020, have called out in support of the ongoing farmer’s agitation in India.

36 MP’s have written to UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to raise the matter with New Delhi.

The faction of MPs led by the Labour Party’s Tanmanjit Singh Dhesi wrote a letter to Raab, seeking to pressurise India against the recently enacted agriculture laws.

The British MPs have asked Dominic Robb to hold talks with the Indian government through the support of Sikh farmers in Punjab and abroad.

In his letter,  British Sikh Labour MP Tanmanjit Singh Dhesi noted that last month several MPs wrote letters to the Indian High Commission in London about the effects of the three new farm laws.

The letter has been signed by other Indian-origin MPs.

These include Labour MP’s Virendra Sharma, Nadia Whittome, Valerie Vaz, Seema Malhotra, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Liberal Democrats MP Munira Wilson, two Conservative MPs and three SNP MP’s.

The letter drafted by  Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi reads:

“There are widespread farmer protests across the country over the failure of the Indian government to protect farmers from exploitation.

“Farmers are looking to ensure a fair price for their produce in the three new agricultural laws introduced despite the Coronavirus.

“This is of particular concern to Sikhs in Britain and those associated with Punjab.

“Many British Sikhs and Punjabis have taken up the matter with their respective MPs.

“They are directly influenced by family members and their ancestral land in Punjab.”

The letter also seeks an update on any communication the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has had with the Indian government on the issue.

The FCDO is yet to respond to the letter or with an official statement on the matter.

Dhesi has shared a copy of the signed letter on Twitter:

Earlier, in November 2020, Dhesi had also held a virtual meeting of All Party Pearlry Group for British Sikhs, which was attended by 14 MPs.

It demanded the British government to negotiate with India about the agriculture laws.

India has called the remarks by foreign leaders and politicians on protests by farmers as “ill-informed” and “unwarranted”.

India maintains that the matter of Indian farmers’ pertains to the internal affairs of a democratic country.

Reacting to the comments by the foreign leaders, India’s External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava stated on December 1, 2020:

“We have seen some ill-informed comments relating to farmers in India.

“Such comments are unwarranted, especially when pertaining to the internal affairs of a democratic country.”

In a terse message, the Indian ministry added that “it is also best that diplomatic conversations are not misrepresented for political purposes.”

The latest intervention by British MPs follows Dhesi and other politicians taking to social media to express support for the farmers.

Foreign nationals from across the world have interluded on the Indian farmer’s protest among increasing hostility from the Indian government.

This includes support from Canada’s PM, James Trudeau, who is favour of the peaceful protests of the farmers, especially, those from Punjab.

Locally, Indians have reacted to his ‘interference’ and claim he is doing this for Punjabi votes from those residing in Canada.

This is because the majority of Indians living in Canada have migrated from the Punjab region of India.

Similarly, comments from Times of India readers are not happy with the intrusion of the British MPs. Majority of them strongly feel it is an internal issue for India and Indians.

Here are some of the comments and reactions by these Indian readers.

“It is an internal matter of India. Foreign countries better keep away and mind their own business. Punjab has already suffered a lot. It is an issue of all the Indian farmers and not of Punjab only.”

“Dear British MPs, we will take care of our country. You take care of yours.”

“These desis ditch India, become politicians in UK and plot to destabilize India. Sad state if affairs of such deshdrohis.”

“Respect the largest democracy in the world which is much much bigger then UK and Canada combined. All these foreign MPs think they know better and can do better than Indian MPs. Are they trying to re-colonize India?”

“Are these Britishers thinking they are still ruling India ?? They forgot India got independence in 1947 without waging war ? They are worried India becoming strong, so the age old tactics.”

India maintains that the protests and the agricultural laws that caused them are a prerogative of a democratic nation.

The government is currently attempted to open dialogue with the Indian farmers and hoping to come to an amicable solution.

Akanksha is a media graduate, currently pursuing a postgraduate in Journalism. Her passions include current affairs and trends, TV and films, as well as travelling. Her life motto is 'Better an oops than a what if'.