Harder Pens Letter to Indian Ambassador Urging Resolution of Conflict Between Government and Farmers

March 5, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON — Today, Congressman Josh Harder (CA-10) sent a letter to Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Indian Ambassador to the United States, to urge him to support restarting talks between the Indian government and its farmers. In the letter, Rep. Harder specifically called out the Indian government’s use of tear gas, water cannons, and other forms of violence on peaceful demonstrators in recent months. 


“Peaceful protest is at the heart of any democracy. Today, I’m calling on the Indian government to stop the violence and start a productive conversation with its farmers,” said Rep. Harder. “I’m proud to stand with the Sikh community in the Central Valley and around the world as we call for peace and for justice for India’s farmers.” 


Read the full letter below and online here.


Dear Ambassador Sandhu,


I write to you regarding the treatment of peaceful protestors in India and urge a swift resumption of talks between the Indian government and its farmers.


For the past several months, hundreds of thousands of farmers across India have organized and converged on the capital to peacefully protest new agricultural laws. As I’ve followed their movement, instead of seeing dialogue from the government, I’ve seen peaceful demonstrators met with tear gas, water cannons, baton attacks, and more. Attacks like these are a direct affront to the democratic principles that both our nations are founded upon. As the world’s largest democracy, India must be a leader in the human rights space and safeguard our fundamental rights to peaceful assembly, a free press, and an active civil society.


It is with our shared commitment to these democratic principles in mind that I write to you urging a swift and peaceful resolution between the Indian government and its farmers. As a Member of Congress who represents a district with a strong agricultural industry and a vibrant Sikh community in the Central Valley, this issue is particularly important to me and my constituents. It is imperative that the Indian farmers are able to peacefully express their frustrations about these new laws without fear of retaliation from their government.


I appreciate your thoughtful attention and look forward to partnering with you to ensure that the farmers are given the opportunity to engage in a peaceful and productive manner with the Indian government.