Bharat Bandh: Know What’s Open and What’s Closed as Farmers Call for a Nationwide Strike on 26th March 2021

Since November of last year, hundreds of farmers have been camped near Delhi’s borders, demanding that the Centre revoke the three new farm laws. The farm laws, which will go into effect in September 2020, are expected to be significant reforms that will eliminate middlemen and enable farmers to sell their products anywhere in the world. Protesting farmers, on the other hand, have expressed concern that the new laws would pave the way for the elimination of the minimum support price’s safety net and the elimination of the “mandi” (wholesale market) scheme, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.

“In order to make Bharat Bandh effective, all District Presidents, Block Presidents / Tehsil Presidents, and top officials should cooperate to ensure that the bandh is made successful,” the Bhartiya Kisan Morcha tweeted on March 25. As farmers prepare for tomorrow’s “Bharat Bandh,” here’s a rundown of who will be impacted:

What will be Closed:

According to a statement released by the SKM, all road and rail transportation, markets, and other public places will be closed throughout the country from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on March 26.

What Isn’t:

The call for a “Bharat Bandh” isn’t appropriate in areas where elections will be held, according to the statement.

The traders’ participation in the countrywide “Bharat Bandh” call issued by farmers’ unions on March 26 in protest of the three farm laws would be optional, according to a meeting held at the collectorate on Wednesday and chaired by ADM (City) Shailendra Kumar Singh.

The Mahanagar Vyapar Mandal’s General Secretary, Ashok Chawla, stated that the organization would remain neutral during the “Bharat Bandh.” No trade union will force someone to close their shop or pressure them to keep it open, he said, because traders are free to make their own decisions.


Meanwhile, Rakesh Tikait, a leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, said the farmers’ agitation will continue until the Centre repeals farm laws and offers a legal guarantee on MSP. “Farmers are not afraid of lawsuits,” Tikait said, referring to cases filed against several farmers in the aftermath of the January 26 incidents in Delhi. This agitation will continue as long as the Centre does not repeal these laws and until a law is enacted that provides legal protection for MSP.”

“This agitation would last until November-December,” he said, stressing that the government should not believe that farmers are leaving.

Farmers also called for a ‘Bharat Bandh’ for the second time, following a nationwide strike on December 8 in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Assam. Several trade unions and political parties, including Congress and the NCP, supported the previous bandh call.

Opposition political parties are once again supporting the proposal for a ‘Bharat Bandh.’ “We endorse the call for Bharat Bandh on March 26th against the three Anti-Farmers Bills,” Congress MP Digvijaya Singh tweeted in support of the protesting farmers. The CPI(M) in Andhra Pradesh has also expressed its support for the farmers’ strike across the region.

Ronil Thakkar

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