Skip To Content

    Lilly Singh Wore An "I Stand With Farmers" Mask To The Grammys In Support Of The Biggest Protest In World History

    "I know red carpet/award show pictures always get the most coverage, so here you go media."

    At the 2021 Grammy Awards, late night talk show host Lilly Singh wore a mask with a message: “I Stand With Farmers.”

    The protests at New Delhi’s borders began in November 2020 in reaction to three agriculture bills Prime Minister Narendra Modi passed in September.

    Farmers from Jalalabad Village arrive on tractors to one of New Delhi's borders, Ghazipur, to participate in the ongoing protests.
    Sakib Ali/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

    Farmers from different regions like Punjab, Haryana, and Tamil Nadu marched and drove tractors to the nation’s capital, beginning a months-long sit-in protest. The farmers' mission is to get the laws completely repealed, but the government has yet to agree.

    According to India’s farmers unions, the new policies threaten their livelihood.

    Two farmers walk with flags on the 70th day of the protests.
    Naveen Sharma/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

    For example, one of the bills removes the Minimum Support Price, a guarantee that the government pays farmers to protect them from harsh drops in crop prices.

    The Modi administration said the new laws give farmers the freedom to do business with whoever they want. However, farmers argue that selling directly to large corporations will drive the prices of their produce down so low that they will not be able to afford to run their farms anymore.

    In fact, the decrease in crop prices over the last several years has left more than half of India’s farmers in debt, and is being blamed for India’s high rate of farmer suicide.

    A protestor holds a sign that says "New Farming Bills Are Suicidal."
    Sanjeev Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

    According to India’s National Crime Records Bureau, at least 10,000 farmers died by suicide in 2019.

    Farmers and laborers marching to India’s capital borders have been met with water cannons, tear gas, batons, and attacks from badge-less police officers.

    Police use tear gas and water cannons to stop farmers from entering New Delhi.
    Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

    Dozens of farmer activists and journalists have also been jailed.

    The UN Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International have issued statements condemning the Indian government’s response to the protests.

    #India: We call on the authorities and protesters to exercise maximum restraint in ongoing #FarmersProtests. The rights to peaceful assembly & expression should be protected both offline & online. It's crucial to find equitable solutions with due respect to #HumanRights for all.

    @UNHumanRights / Via Twitter: @UNHumanRights

    In the past couple of months, Singh and other celebrities like Rihanna, Meena Harris, and Rupi Kaur have been raising awareness for the farmers’ protest.

    why aren’t we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest https://t.co/obmIlXhK9S

    @rihanna / Via Twitter: @rihanna

    indian police are kidnapping journalists. we’re incredibly worried about the safety of reporters incld. many citizen-journalists on the ground. attn: @pressfreedom @Twitter @TwitterSupport @misskaul stop suspending the accounts of journalists because of government pressure! https://t.co/lhorRPj6RT

    @rupikaur_ / Via Twitter: @rupikaur_

    Happy to share that I’ve donated $10,000 to provide medical assistance to the farmers in need in India to help save lives during these times. I hope we can prevent any additional life from being lost. 🙏🏾 #FarmersProtest https://t.co/0WoEw0l3ij

    @TeamJuJu / Via Twitter: @TeamJuJu

    The international community has been putting pressure on India’s government to repeal the laws, or at the very least, respect the farmers’ right to protest.

    Today, the protests are still going strong.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form