Charlottetown demonstrators call attention to India protests over agriculture reforms



Sukhmeen Kaur is concerned about the impact India's farm reforms will have on its farmers, she said.

"It's harming people," she said. "Because of these laws, there's going to be no food on the table."

Kaur, who's originally from Punjab, India, was one of about 10 to 15 people demonstrating by the Charlottetown cenotaph on Nov. 30 - many of whom were members of P.E.I.'s Sikh community. They were raising awareness and showing their support for the Punjab and Haryana farmers protesting a series of laws imposed by India's government in September. 

The farmers believe their livelihood will be affected by the reformed laws, and when about 300,000 attempted to march into the city of Delhi last week they were met with police barricades, tear gas, and water cannons, demonstrator Manpreet Singh said.

"They were stopped forcefully," he said. "They were beaten, they were harassed."

Singh, who's also from Punjab, said farming is a primary source of income for India. While the goal of the reforms was to give more control to farmers, the farmer's main concern with them is that a minimum price for what their crops can sell for is no longer guaranteed or regulated, potentially giving corporations more control and profit.