The Indian Farmers Protests of 2020 with Dr. Anil Antony - Context Travel

The Indian Farmers Protests of 2020 with Dr. Anil Antony


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Some papers have been referencing recent current events in India as “the largest protest in the world”. But what is really happening and why are these farmers protests taking place? In this Conversation, we will discuss these critical issues in their historical context, which goes all the way back to Indian independence in 1947.

Since August, around two hundred million people in India have participated in protests against new laws affecting farmers. That figure includes the majority of farmers in the country and a substantial percentage of the whole working population of India. These massive protests have been dominating life in India and headlines throughout Asia, but few outside that bubble understand what’s going on or exactly what the issue is.

To understand the problem, we have to go all the way back to pre-Independence India. In 1943, a famine in Bengal (part of modern-day India and Bangladesh) killed more than three million people. It was entirely man-made. As a result, starting with independence in 1947, the Indian government began an aggressive agriculture support program, ultimately including a government committee to support agricultural prices. In August 2020, the Indian government temporarily eliminated these supports, and in September 2020, when that became permanent, the large-scale protests began. The nuances of this history and policy are complex; this conversation will discuss them in detail.

Led by an expert on Indian cultural history, Dr. Anil “Noro” Noronha Antony, this interactive seminar will explore the uprising of the Indian farmers. Designed to inform curiosity, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the significance and history of these ongoing protests in India.

Dr. Anil “Noro” Noronha Antony is an assistant director of the American Association for Cancer Research, the world’s oldest and largest private cancer research organization. He holds a PhD in Cell and Developmental biology and a lifelong interest in the history and culture of south India. Born in the Muslim-majority United Arab Emirates to an Anglo-Indian Catholic family and trained by a Hindu tantric in Kerala, he has direct experience of all three major Keralite religious traditions.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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