US lawmakers write to Pompeo on farmers' protest in India
A group of seven influential US lawmakers, including Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, have written to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, urging him to raise the issue of farmers' protest in India with his Indian counterpart. India has called the remarks by foreign leaders and politicians on the protests as "ill-informed" and "unwarranted," asserting that the matter pertains to the internal affairs of the country.
'Ill-informed comments on farmers in India'
"We have seen some ill-informed comments relating to farmers in India. Such comments are unwarranted, especially when pertaining to the internal affairs of a democratic country," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said earlier this month.
'A matter of concern to Sikh Americans and Indian Americans'
This is a matter of concern to Sikh Americans linked to Punjab. It also impacts the Indian Americans belonging to other Indian states, the lawmakers said in their letter to Pompeo dated December 23. In their letter, the lawmakers said that the US as a nation that is familiar with political protests can offer counsel to India during their current period of social disturbance.
'Indian Americans affected as they have ancestral land in Punjab'
"Many Indian Americans are directly affected as they have family members and ancestral land in Punjab and are concerned for the well-being of their families in India. In view of this serious situation, we urge you to contact your Indian counterpart," the letter stated.
Why are the farmers protesting?
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and other states have been protesting on various borders of Delhi since November 26, seeking a repeal of three farm laws enacted in September. Dubbing them as "anti-farmer," they claim that the legislations will dismantle the minimum support price, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporations. However, the government has claimed the laws will bring better opportunities.
US Congressmen expressed their concern on the ongoing farmer's protest
The letter has been signed by Congressmen Donald Norcross, Brendan F Boyle, Brian Fitzpatrick, Mary Gay Scanlon, Debbie Dingell, and David Trone. Congressman John Garamendi, Co-Chair of the American Sikh Caucus, Congressman Jim Costa, and Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee, members of the American Sikh Caucus, wrote to Indian Ambassador to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu. Democratic American lawmaker David Trone urged for the farmer's safety.