By Hitesh Tikoo
London, Jan 13 (IANS) A majority of British Indians are in favour of the UK entering into a trade deal with India which supports and ensures a fair deal for Indian farmers, according to new research.
The research conducted by The 1928 Institute, a UK-based think tank backed by the University of Oxford, revealed that 47 per cent of British Indians are in favour of a UK-India trade deal, and 43 per cent of the respondents said goods should be acquired directly from the farmers to improve their standard of living.
The institute surveyed 510 respondents, aged between 16-85, of whom 50 per cent were female, 47 per cent male, and 3 per cent non-binary. British Indians from Greater London, West Midlands, East Midlands, Wales and Northern Ireland were interviewed by the institute.
Many of the respondents interviewed said that the British mainstream media has not been as informative as they would have liked regarding the Indian farm reforms.
While explaining the importance of their relationship with India and its farmers, 32 per cent of the respondents interviewed said that the farm reforms are absolutely inappropriate while 31 per cent stated they are absolutely appropriate.
The study also found 41 per cent of British Indians not supporting the UK protests because they are too politicised. With the ongoing Covid pandemic, 30 per cent of respondents feel that the protests demonstrate their substantial level of concern, while 18 per cent are unable to attend due to COVID-19, and 13 per cent think there should not be protests amid the pandemic.
Kiran Kaur Manpu, co-founder of The 1928 Institute, told IANS that, “It is important that the PM’s upcoming visit to India (cancelled for the time being) results in actioned support for the farmers through fair trade. Our data shows British Indians, regardless of their personal views towards the Indian farm reforms, have demonstrated their solidarity and evidenced their wish to pursue this sustainable outcome.”
The three laws include: The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act.
India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended implementation of the three contentious farm laws and set up a four-member expert committee to examine the laws in detail. This means the government of India, for now, cannot make decisions to enforce the laws.