Freedomroo – India’s Farmers and Modi Weigh Options After New Delhi Clash

India's Farmers and Modi Weigh Options After New Delhi Clash

In a sign that Mr. Modi’s government was weighing its next moves, there was complete silence on Wednesday from the prime minister and his most important political lieutenant, Amit Shah, the home minister, who controls the Delhi police.

The mood Wednesday at Ghazipur, one of the main protest camps, was subdued but still determined. Many of the protesters, away from their families for weeks, were back to the daily rhythms that the sprawling and elaborate tent cities have developed — making tea, frying snacks to feed thousands, and washing clothes in makeshift laundry stalls.

“We are not going back — that is not in our genetic code,” said Ringhu Yaspal, 32, who was helping wash protesters’ laundry. “Agriculture has turned into a slow poison. It’s better to die fighting here.”

Onstage among the protesters, speaker after speaker tried to rally them to continue the fight.

“We should not give a message that we are tired, that we are going home,” Jagtar Singh Bajwa, a farm leader from Uttarkand, told a couple of hundred listeners. “We will start over today, with full unity.”

Mr. Bajwa and others walked a fine line, supporting those who had ended up in the most violent areas of the march, while urging a path of nonviolence and order.

“One farmer was martyred yesterday, and he is a martyr of a fight that is about saving the people, saving the country,” said another speaker, D.P. Singh. “The way to respect his memory is to weed out the unruly elements, to not allow them to disrupt this agitation.”

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