January 28, 2021 (Washington, DC) -- In the aftermath of the January 26th tractor rally in Delhi, the Sikh Coalition sent another letter
urging the Biden Administration to condemn the recent acts of violence against the protestors--including the malevolent act of shutting off the internet, which is an often-used government-sponsored attempt to silence dissent.
The Indian government responded to Tuesday's tractor rally in Delhi by meeting protestors with violence, leaving hundreds of farmers injured and at least one dead. The Indian government also shut down internet access to portions of the city in an effort to restrict freedom of speech and the press. Reports from activists on the ground via social media indicate that security forces are presently using force to eradicate numerous encampments of protestors. The response to these protests reinforces the pattern of Prime Minister Modi’s government suppressing human rights.
In response, this second letter
reinforces three actions centered in supporting these human rights that the Biden Administration can take today to stand for farmers in India, including:
Click here to read the second letter urging President Biden to hold Prime Minister Modi’s government accountable for ensuring its citizens’ most basic human and civil rights.
- Releasing a statement condemning both the violence by Indian authorities against the protestors as well as the Indian government’s efforts to stifle freedom of expression by shutting down the internet;
- Directing the State Department to monitor the increasing number of Indian government sanctioned-retaliatory actions against farmers, protestors, and others, including unwarranted investigations, charges, and arrests; and
- Taking actionable efforts to hold Prime Minister Modi and other government officials accountable for their past and ongoing human rights abuses, including the severe policies and measures that continue to fail to protect the equal rights of minorities in India.
The #FarmersProtest outside of Delhi began in November 2020 and has continued since despite freezing temperatures and repressive response tactics from the Indian police and military. In the United States, thousands of Sikh Americans continue to call on their members of Congress to speak out in support of the farmers’ protest. Please consider amplifying the specific asks in this letter, and review the draft proclamation language if you are interested in reaching out to your elected officials.
In the meantime, the Sikh Coalition will continue reaching out to lawmakers and members of the media on this issue, and we will provide more updates as events unfold.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.