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HR-34 (2021-2022)

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House Resolution
No. 34

Introduced by Assembly Member Cooper

April 06, 2021

Relative to farming in India.


HR 34, as introduced, Cooper.

WHEREAS, California appreciates and respects the contributions of farmers, in India and Punjab, and across the world in feeding nations and fostering trade; and
WHEREAS, California is home to one of the largest Sikh farming communities in the world, especially renowned in the Central Valley, from Yuba City to Fresno to Bakersfield; and
WHEREAS, Many Sikh Californians come from agrarian families with relatives who are continuing their farming traditions in South Asia; and
WHEREAS, Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for 58 percent of India’s population, with 85 percent of farmers owning less than five acres of land; and
WHEREAS, India’s antifarmer policies, debt, and deteriorating financial status have led to 363,726 farmers and farm laborers committing suicide between 1995 and 2019; and
WHEREAS, Inequitable agricultural policies have driven many farmers to seek opportunities abroad, including in the United States, to support their families back home; and
WHEREAS, A respect for the rights of freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, and a thriving civil society are core components of a functioning democracy; and
WHEREAS, The Indian government proposed and passed bills in September 2020 that deregulate the agricultural sector, and by removing significant protections for farmers and price protections for consumers, ultimately give corporations unprecedented control over India’s food supply; and
WHEREAS, These bill have disparate impacts on specific states and classes of India’s communities; and
WHEREAS, Many Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, and Christian families in the states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, and many other regions will be grossly affected; and
WHEREAS, India’s Dalit laborers continue to suffer from governmental oppression was well as abuse and harassment within farming communities, many of which have deeply embedded casteism; and
WHEREAS, These laws have set off some of the largest peaceful protests in history, particularly outside of the capital city of New Delhi, which have been going on since 2020; and
WHEREAS, The peaceful protests have brought together women, men, Dalit laborers, small farmers, and many sections of Indian civil society in an unprecedented manner, despite government abuse using water cannons, tear gas, arbitrary arrests, and targeting of youth leaders; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That California expresses solidarity with farmers who are peacefully protesting against the passage of farming bills in India and supports affected members of California’s South Asian community; and be it further
Resolved, That Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution. .