Farmers’ Protest: Bharat Band

Farmers’ Protest: Bharat Band

The nation witnessed widespread Farmers protests and disruptions on Friday, February 16, as various farmers’ unions, including the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), called for a Gramin Bharat Bandh, or nationwide strike. The protest aimed to press for the demands of the farming community, challenging the policies of the central government.


The Bharat bandh  under ongoing Farmers protest call was issued amidst the ongoing ‘Delhi Chalo’ protests by farmers, who have been marching from states like Haryana and Punjab towards Delhi. However, they have faced resistance and have been stopped at the borders of Haryana, particularly near Ambala.

Protest Activities:

The SKM, a non-political coalition, urged all like-minded farmers’ organizations to join the Bharat Bandh, which lasted from 6 am to 4 pm. The main activity of thein the ongoing  protest was a widespread chakka jam, or road blockade, from 12 pm to 4 pm, affecting major roads across the country. In Punjab, a significant portion of state and national highways remained closed for the duration of the protest.

Affected Sectors:

  1. Transportation: The movement of goods and people was severely disrupted due to the road blockades.
  2. Agricultural Activities: Farming operations and transportation of agricultural produce were hampered, impacting farmers’ livelihoods.
  3. MNREGA Activities: Work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) was affected, affecting rural employment opportunities.
  4. Private Offices: Many private offices and businesses were either closed or faced disruptions.
  5. Village Shops: Local shops in rural areas remained shut in support of the protest.
  6. Rural Industrial and Service Establishments: Activities in rural industries and services witnessed disruptions.

Farmers’ Demands: The key demands of the farmers included:

  • Guaranteed Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all crops through legislation.
  • Strengthening of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
  • Reinstitution of the old pension scheme for wider coverage.
  • Ensuring pension and social security for all workers, both formal and informal.
  • Providing free 300 units of power for both farming and domestic use.
  • Implementing comprehensive crop insurance for better risk management.
  • Increasing existing pensions to ₹10,000 per month.

Conclusion: The Bharat Bandh 2024 highlighted the grievances and demands of the farming community, drawing attention to issues such as MSP, rural employment, and social security. The protest underscored the need for meaningful dialogue and concrete action by the authorities to address the concerns of farmers and rural communities.