South Asian activists came together on Sunday, January 10 in Surrey, to remember more than 60 farmers, who have laid down their lives during the ongoing agitation in India.
Organized by Indians Abroad for Pluralist India (IAPI), the vigil was in protest against the recent deaths of farmers who have been holding a demonstration near New Delhi to press upon the right wing Hindu nationalist government to roll back controversial farming laws which are threatening their livelihood.
The participants gathered outside the Indian Visa and Passport application center, carrying signs calling for justice to Baba Ram Singh and Amarjit Singh, and lit 60 candles for the dead farmers.
Ram Singh was a Sikh sect leader, while Amarjit Singh was a lawyer. The two men committed suicide leaving notes blaming the government for their decisions during the demonstration in India. Many farmers have died either by suicide or by natural causes or accidents during the struggle.
The speakers at the vigil not only raised slogans, but asked for action against those in government for the abetment of suicides by the agitators. They also denounced mistreatment being meted out to the protesting farmers and asked for the scrapping of “anti-farmer” laws without further delay.
Among those present were IAPI President Parshotam Dosanjh, organizer Rakesh Kumar, Treasurer Navtej Johal, and other members of the group, Amrit Diwana, Tejinder Sharma and Gurpreet Singh.
The gathering was kept small due to COVID 19 restrictions, and the participants wore masks and maintained physical distance.