1st Edition

Agrarian Reform and Farmer Resistance in Punjab Mobilization and Resilience

Edited By Shinder Singh Thandi Copyright 2023
    295 Pages
    by Routledge India

    This book examines different dimensions of farmer agitations in Punjab, India. It situates the 2020–2021 farmer resistance movement within the wider context of India’s post-independent development trajectory and provides a thorough analysis of various aspects of the farmers’ movement in India.

    The volume contextualizes Punjab’s history of farmer resistance, organization and mobilization strategies, the globalization of the movement, ways of both sustaining the movement and building resilience. While providing a critical understanding of the three farm laws introduced in India in 2020, the book looks at how they may impact farm operations and livelihoods in the post-Green Revolution period and evaluates strategies of inclusive mobilization for gathering support and sustaining the movement both within India and abroad, with special focus on the role of the Sikh diaspora. Essays in this volume also discuss the participation of women in the struggle and how their experience has the potential to transform gender relations both at home and in the public sphere.

    Integrated, comprehensive and concisely written by well-known experts, this book will be of interest to those involved with Punjab’s social, political and economic history, and students and researchers of food and agriculture in developing countries, peasant and social movements, Indian federalism and role of diasporas as non-state actors.

    Introduction to Agrarian Reforms and the 2020–2021 Farmer Resistance: A Momentous Morcha

    Shinder S. Thandi

    Part I: Historical, Literary and Comparative Perspectives

    1. Agrarian Resistance in Punjab: Contextualizing Farmer Protests at the Gates of Delhi in a Historical Perspective

    Ronki Ram

    2. Kisan Protests in Punjab 1907–2021: A Literary Lineage of Resistance

    Prabhjot Parmar and Amandeep Kaur

    3. A Tale of Two Punjabi Peasant Agitations: Comparing 1907 and 2020–2021

    Sukhdev S. Sohal

    4. From Disunity to Unity: Organization, Mobilization Strategies and Achievements of the Recent Farmers’ Movement in Punjab

    Sucha S. Gill

    5. Contemporary Farmers’ Protests and the Legacy of the 1980s: Changes in Ideology, Class Coalitions and Political Structure

    Virginia Van Dyke

    Part II: Dimensions and Dynamics of Reform, Resistance and Resilience

    6. Farm Laws, Federalism and Farm Protests: Challenges for Punjab

    Pritam Singh

    7. ‘Modernist’ Teleology and Futures of Agriculture: Making Sense of the Punjabi Farmers’ Movement of 2020–2021

    Surinder S. Jodhka

    8. Reforming Agricultural Markets for Agrarian Transformation: Potential Implications of Repealed Farm Acts for Punjab

    Sukhpal Singh

    9. Mera Pind, Mera Sabhyachar, Mera Virsa: Understanding Sikh Diaspora Support for the Punjab Kisan Morcha

    Shinder S. Thandi

    10. Enhancing Visibility, Extending Solidarity: Women’s Participation in the 2020–2021 Farmer Protests

    Swaroopa Lahiri


    Shinder Singh Thandi, PhD, is a former Professor who taught in the Global Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. Previously, he was based at Coventry University, UK, where he was head of Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting from 2009 to 2015. He is founder-editor of the Journal of Sikh & Punjab Studies, published since 1994. He has published many journal articles and book chapters on Indian and Punjabi migration and on different dimensions of Sikh diaspora and homeland relations. He co-authored A South Asian History of Britain: Four Centuries of Peoples from the Indian Sub-Continent (with Michael Fisher and Shompa Lahiri; 2007) and co-edited People on the Move: Punjabi Colonial and Post-Colonial Migration (with Ian Talbot; 2004) and Punjabi Identity in a Global Context (with Pritam Singh; 1999).