India’s Farmer’s Movement (2020-21)
Priyank Chandra, Paridhi Gupta, Adrian Petterson, Ashique Ali T
This project investigates how the year-long farmers’ movement in India (2020-21) utilized social media and digital technologies to organize social movement, build coalitions, create digital counterpublics, and how specially designed technologies and spaces can aid social movements resisting powerful antagonistic actors.
In November 2020, farming communities from various Indian states, including Punjab and Haryana, travelled to the outskirts of India’s national capital New Delhi to protest against the union government’s three agricultural reform laws. These laws threatened their livelihoods by dismantling existing state regulations, price controls, and public procurement commitments in the agricultural sector. Despite facing state repression that resulted in over 700 deaths, frequent arrests, internet shutdowns, and physical violence, the farmers’ movement in India, led by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), a coalition of over 400 farmer unions, invited the participation of more than 300,000 protesters over a year. Consequently, on November 19, 2021, the Indian government announced the repeal of three highly controversial Farm Bills.
In this context, our project examines a) how social media enabled hybrid forms of organizational structures and facilitated coalition-building between diverse groups in the movement, b) how digital counterpublics unfolded during the movement oriented and negotiated online counterspeech and c) how designed technologies and spaces can support social movements in the face of powerful antagonistic actors.
April 2023 Status Update
Analysing social media data</p>
Gupta, Paridhi, Adrian Petterson, Divyani Motla, and Priyank Chandra. 2022. “Ladange, Adange, Jeetange: The Farmers’ Movement and Its Virtual Spaces.” Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact., 446, 6 (CSCW2): 1–34. https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3555547