A sleep out outside the Indian Embassy took place on Saturday as a show of support for the ongoing farmers strike in the country.
The protests have caught international attention with a number of high-profile celebrities, including Rihanna, condemning the Modi Government for attempting to enact laws that would water down rules on the selling and pricing of produce for one of India’s poorest demographic.
The Indian Embassy sleep out event was organised by 28-year-old lawyer Daljit Singh Mehat, who felt that international support for farmers in India had been wavering.
It was supported by the Sikh Welfare & Awareness Team, a west London based charity that supports disadvantaged communities.
The demonstrations in India are some of the largest in the country’s history.
On 9th March, a number of MPs from Labour, The Liberal Democrats, and Green Party expressed their concerns over the handling of the protest by the Indian Government.
During the debate, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “The farmers are protesting because they are predominantly small farmers on less than five acres, many of them very poor.
“Over 22,000 have committed suicide in the past few years as a result of the stress they are under. It is as if globalisation has been forced upon them, and they do not want it.”
Meanwhile, an annual report from Democracy under Siege downgraded India’s freedom status from ‘free’ to ‘partly free’ on 3rd March, citing pressure on human rights organisations, intimidation of journalists, and treatment of minorities as its reasons why.