Hundreds rally in Canton in support of India farmers facing controversial legislation

Metro Detroiters join peaceful protests around the world

Hundreds of Indian-Americans from across Metro Detroit gathered in Heritage Park in Canton in for a peaceful, drive by rally to show support for farmers.

CANTON, Mich. – Despite the cold weather and ongoing health crisis, on Saturday Metro Detroiters joined in on protests happening in several countries in support of Indian farmers.

Hundreds of Indian-Americans from across Metro Detroit gathered in Heritage Park in Canton for a peaceful rally to show support for farmers.

“There are farmers out there who need our help,” said Michigan Rep. Ranjeev Puri. “We fight for the values we believe in and we stand with our neighbor.”

Farmers from all over India have been protesting new laws enacted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. Protesters say the bills would eliminate the minimum price for crops, which would de-regulate the industry and leave millions of farmers to live below the poverty line.

Related: India farmers press on with protest despite offer to talk

One Michigan protester, Dr. Amanjot Sarao, comes from a long line of farmers. She immigrated to the U.S. from Punjab when she was a little girl.

“It hurts me to see these farmers, who are trying to put food on the table and feed their families -- they won’t be able to do that if they can’t have basic human rights,” Sarao said.

“As we were driving up (to the protest), I looked at my mom. I did not imagine so many people to be here,” Sarao added. “I was shocked.”

Protesters said they felt proud of their Metro Detroit neighbors for coming together and speaking up for those whose voices are being silenced in India.

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About the Author:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism