Indian Police Block Roads Ahead of Farmers' March to New Delhi

    Indian Police Block Roads Ahead of Farmers' March to New Delhi
    Photo: Pallava Bagla/Corbis News via Getty Images (Jan. 26, 2021)

    The Facts

    • Indian police have erected cement blocks and laid barbed wire fences along the edges of New Delhi as farmers march towards the capital city. This is similar to demonstrations from almost four years ago.

    • The police have also planted nails, parking cranes, excavators, and containers on many roads leading to the city, with up to 5K security personnel also reportedly deployed at entry points.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Farmers are well within their rights to protest peacefully to air their grievances. However, other ordinary citizens also have a right to travel and arrive at destinations with minimal hurdles. As was ruled on by the court three years ago, the right to protest cannot overshadow the latter. The protesters, therefore, cannot be allowed to block roads — especially the ones leading to the national capital.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    While the government may try to stop individual gatherings as they did during the last protest, Indian farmers from across the country will be out in force until the government finally decides to fulfill its promises. The people who put food on Indian tables want to be treated with respect, which is why they're demanding sovereignty over their farmland, government debt relief, and livable wage increases.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 50% chance that India will score at least 6.3 in the Democracy Index in 2030, according to the Metaculus forecasting community.

    Articles on this story

    Sign up to our daily newsletter