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Trolley Times: Mediating Solidarity in the Indian Farmers’ Movement

Published onMar 23, 2022
Trolley Times: Mediating Solidarity in the Indian Farmers’ Movement
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Introduction

The production of counter-narratives by protest movements is an important feature of their internal and external communication strategies. Self-mediation or “being the media” is a regular response to mainstream media representation that often invisibilizes or stigmatizes social movements. The recent Indian Farmers’ Movement against three new agricultural laws offers interesting examples of how the protest is supported medially and the ways counter-narratives and solidarity are mediated. The movement’s newsletter Trolley Times is one such initiative that aims at countering mainstream media narratives, informing about the cause, and building affective ties among protestors and supporters. It does so via a differentiated multilingual transmedia strategy including social media handles, video material, print publications and public performances.1

An analysis of the content and imagery of the newsletter reveals several themes that shape the Trolley Times’ narrative of the Farmers’ Movement. In terms of content, the strong anti-capitalist critique directed at the new farm laws and the government in general dominates. On another discursive level, the movement is portrayed as a model for an ideal Indian society via its visions and practices, which include a strong sense of trans-regional and even trans-ideological solidarity and an emphasis on unity and secularism in opposition to the BJP government’s divisive agenda. The ideal of secularism in this context must be understood within the Indian framework, which refers to the equality of all religions and the right to practice one's faith rather than a strict separation of state and religion.[Bhargava 2002] It is inextricably linked to the concept of unity as propagated in the popular nationalist slogan from the first decades of independent India: "Unity in diversity”.

By analyzing the mediation strategies of Trolley Times as well as the content and ideas, mechanisms of circulation, meaning-making, and the creation of solidarity will be explored. In the following article, Trolley Times is not regarded as an isolated initiative but is understood as embedded within complex dynamics and practices of political mobilisation, solidarity and media engagement.

The Farmers’ Movement and its Demands

Farmers’ Movement or Samyukt Kisan Morcha (Hindi: United Farmers’ Front), formed in November 2020, is the term for a coalition of over forty Indian farmers’ unions. The movement originated in resistance to three new agricultural laws passed by the Indian government in September 2020. Protests arose immediately and continued with increasing intensity for over a year. In the course of it, there were repeated clashes with the forces of law and order, and after a year the movement laments several hundred deaths. The majority of protesting farmers hailed from the agriculture-intensive regions in North India: Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Protests also quickly emerged from farmers in other parts of the country, as well as expressions of solidarity from all sectors of the population. While the overarching solidarity across religion, caste and gender has been emphasized by activists, the dominance Jat farmers from Uttar Pradesh and Punjab cannot be ignored and is largely explained by the historical background of peasant movements in northern India.[Lerche 2021] The participation and unification of numerous, very heterogenous farm unions from all over India, including those of marginalised communities such as Muslims and Dalits, is still remarkable.

Following the “Rail Roko” (Stop the Trains) campaign, that interrupted train services in Punjab, the unions organised the massive “Dilli Chalo” campaign in November 2020 with an endless convoy of tractors and trolleys moving towards the national capital city. The march on Delhi was accompanied by a nationwide general 24-hours-strike of millions of people across India on 26 November 2020 in support of the farmers’ cause, and thousands gathered at various border crossings on the way to Delhi. The turned into month-long blockades along the highways leading from Punjab and Haryana to the capital.

On January 26, 2021, India's Republic Day, tens of thousands of farmers held a farmers' parade and again drove a large convoy of tractors with trolleys to Delhi. Even though a partial victory was seized in January 2021 when the Supreme Court ordered a stay of the bills, the final withdrawal of the laws was only achieved on November 19, 2021. The ultimate success was celebrated extensively, even though the assumption lingers on that is is merely a tactical move by the government in view of the upcoming regional elections in Punjab and UP in early 2022.

Why were the farmers against the new laws? In her Graphic Story, Vidyun Sabhaney briefly reviews the three key points that are critical to understanding the urgency of the protest and the origin of the discourses emanating from the Trolley Times Newsletter.[Sabhaney 2021]

  1. Abolition of the Minimum Support Price: The Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a recommended price for basic food items that is part of existing agricultural policies in much of India. This informal “support price” is recommended by the government and is intended to provide farmers with a minimum profit for the crop while increasing food security in the country. Its abolition leaves farmers completely at the mercy of fluctuating market prices .

  2. No limit on crop hoarding: The removal of the current restriction on crop hoarding would mean that prices could be driven up by those with purchasing power, i.e. large companies.

  3. Access of companies to agricultural land is facilitated: Corporate companies can agree on contract farming and thus get access to the land through loopholes in case of debt, loss of control over cultivation decisions and possibly the land itself.

Against the backdrop of an ongoing agrarian crisis for decades that has generated high debts for many farmers, severe diseases caused by pesticides and the sad notoriety of increasing numbers of farmer suicides across the country, all three points triggered instant fears of poverty, hunger, job loss, complete neoliberalization and capitalization of the agricultural sector.

In their protest against these propositions, farmers invoked metaphors that emphasized their elemental role in providing food for the entire nation. Many slogans used during the rallies characterized them as providers and nurturers: “No Farmer, No Food”, “grain-givers”, “annadata” (Hindi: provider of food). In this way, they were able to secure broad support among the population.

At the protest site in New Delhi. Photo by Rupinder Singh on Unsplash

Protest Aesthetics and Mediation Strategies

Besides if its very basic function of a mediaum for communication, the production of Trolley Times broadly falls under what existing research calls protest aesthetics: the performative and communicative expressions of a protest that constitute a movement through the performance of politics. [McGarry et al. 2020, 15] Protest aesthetics comprise a material and performative clulture with a high capacity to be replicated digitally and shared across social media networks, ideological terrain, state borders, linguistic frontiers. This includes slogans, art, symbols, slang, humour, graffiti, gestures, bodies, colour, clothes, and other objects. These create an alternative space for people to engage with politics.[McGarry et al., 19] Attempts to theorize protest aesthetics note that the production of protest artefacts, the circulation of symbols and discourses contribute towards the creation of a collective memory of the protest.[Cammaerts 2012] Protestors film and photograph what they see and post it on social networking platforms, sometimes in real-time, thereby producing an ever expanding archive of images and self-representations of protest events.[Cammaerts 2012, 125] With regard to the Farmers’ Movement, this archive of protest aesthetics is composed of the stored contributions and images from various media channels, eyewitness accounts, photos and print materials that circulate. It us a rich resource for the following analysis.

At the protest in New Delhi. Photo by Rupinder Singh on Unsplash

I further use Cammaerts’ mediation opportunity structure to specifically analyse the mediation strategies at work in the context of Trolley Times. The concept of mediation captures “diverging articulations between media, communication, protest and activism”[Cammaerts 2012, 118] and enables linking up various ways in which media and communication are relevant to protest and activism. These include framing processes in mainstream media, self-representation and counter-narratives of activists, the use, appropriation and adaptation of media technologies to mobilize for and organize direct actions and media practices that constitute resistance in its own right (i.e. hacktivism). Despite its asymmetric dynmics, mediation does attribute a degree of agency to those resisting, to those watching or using by “meaning making”.[Cammaerts 2012, 118]

Cammaerts describes strategies of producing counter-narratives, of being the media in the sense of indymedia and of dissemination independently from mainstream media as “self-mediation”[Cammaerts 2012, 125]. Although one can legitimately question the “self” in his conceptualization2, the strategy of mediating counter-narratives by the movement's activists is at the heart of what constitutes Trolley Times.

The Trolley Times Newsletter

Against the background of these theoretical considerations, Trolley Times offers a most interesting example in terms of both content and circulation. The newsletter by volunteers from the Farmers’ movement for the movement combines journalistic counter-narratives in the style of “indymedia” and artistic expression in support and reflection of the movement. It was published bilingually in Hindi and Punjabi and the first three editions were translated by the editorial team into English, followed later by a published collection of select translated articles in English. Trolley Times brought out 22 editions at irregular intervals within one year. Its first edition was published on 18 December 2020, its last on 9 December 2021. The newsletter’s publications ended with the perceived victory of the movement with the Modi government taking back the laws on 19 November 2021.

The last three editions of Trolley Times (Ed. 20-22).

The following observations are mainly based on an in-depth analysis of the first three editions’ English versions (Ed. 1-3) and on two interviews with the Trolley Times co-editor Navkiran Natt .3

Navkiran Natt is a dentist by profession and also has a degree in film studies. But for the past two years she has been, what Rohit Kumar from The Wire has called an “andolanjeevi” (professional activist) at the Farmers’ Movement. She comes from a family of activists with bother her parents being involved in the Punjab peasant movement for decades. Her mother Jasbeer Kaur was one of the leading activists in the protests against the three farm bills. At the Tikri protest site, Navkiran Natt ran a library, organised film screenings, gave speeches and founded Trolley Times with a group of young volunteers.

Mediation Strategies

In line with Cammaerts’ notion of “self-mediation”, Trolley Times’ major aim was to be a voice of the protestors and to publish counter-narratives to the government’s framing and mainstream media reporting which were with the exception of Punjabi media perceived as biased and anti-farmer. The goal to provide real news amidst of fake news resulted in a kind of “battle of narratives”[Singh 2020, 1] with the “BJP troll army” on one side and the activists’ accounts on the other. Images and testimonies of a peaceful, non-violent protest helped to justify the movement and symbolized and alternative to the violent, discriminatory ways of the government and police. This was carefully integrated into the self-representation of the movment:

“The peaceful nature of the agitation has ensured that the narrative continues to remain in the favor of farmers.”[Singh 2020, 1]

To spread the farmers’ self-narrative, it was central to ensure circulation. Trolley Times’ first mode of distribution was a printed newsletter at the protest sites. Starting with 1000 they eventually reached 7000 copies. According to Navkiran Natt, the target audience were rural elderly Indians who are not fluent in reading English media. This also explains the focus on publishing in Hindi and the regional language Punjabi which is the mother-tongue of many protesting farmers.

Photo by Ravi Sharma on Unsplash

Navkiran Natt recalls a certain nostalgia attached to producing print media as newspapers are the oldest mass medium. Further she mentions the rural target audience as a decisive factor to not limit their initative to an online platform. Particularly during the height of the protests, internet connectivity was weak and only partially accessible from the protest sites. Another intention was to create a sense of collectiveness through the shared reading and discussing of the newsletter. The volunteers distributed one copy per trolley to motivate groups of protestors to engage with each other and the writings in Trolley Times. Navkiran Natt describes the particularities of the print medium as follows:

“Mobile phone, tablets, iPad and all that, it made that experience [of reading] very individualistic. Which is in a way very lethal for organizing the masses, because when you are experiencing things individually, you don’t get that collective sense which you get while you are sitting together and discussing one particular agenda or one particular political issue.”[Natt 2022]

Her assessment here is entirely consistent with the assumption that solidarity collectivizes what would otherwise remain individual experiences and emotions and in this way it becomes an essential motivation for joint action.[Stewart and Schultze 2019, 100251] Thus, the collective reading of the Trolley Times should help forge these necessary solidarities to support the movement. Navkiran Natt also sees the joint creation of publications as central to political activism and explained how the editorial team was particularly keen on involving young people to facilitate a learning experience of basic forms of activism. In emphasizing the important role of publications for a movement, she also draws a connection to historical movements such as the Ghadar Party, which revolved around a publication.4

Parallel to the classic print medium, the editors followed a cross-media strategy with the maintenance of a website which includes all editions as PDF downloads, social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) with additional postings and a video production called “Trolley Talkies” via YouTube. From the initial editors, circulation was taken into the hands of people who wanted to publish the newsletter and distribute in among their neigbourhood. Navkiran Natt explained, they simply asked people to not change any content, otherwise the newsletter could be re-published by anyone. She further emphasized the importance of social media in reaching a wider audience and a very engaged diaspora. Trolley Times has more than 80,000 followers collectively on their social media handles.5

Social media speak to what Papacharissi has called “affective publics”[Papacharissi 2014]: publics created through emotional and affective communication via images or texts that touch people’s heart and soul. She argues that social media doesn’t make revolutions, but it gives an emergent, storytelling public its own means to empathize with events, often by making participants part of the unfolding story. Technologies facilitates networks, but it is our stories that affectively connect us. That is exactly what Trolley Times does, giving protesters the space to share their stories, thoughts, and opinions, fostering an affective community.

The role of language is significant in achieving this affective appeal. As already mentioned, the use of regional languages over English facilitates access to a wider audience. After the initial translations by the editors themselves, more people volunteered to translate Trolley Times into other Indian languages, i.e. Bengali, Malayalam, and Marathi, but also into French and Spanish. Most of these volunteers were not known to the editorial team. During our interview, Navkiran Natt mentioned interesting acts of solidarity in the form of distributing and translating the newsletter. For instance, volunteers in Pakistan translated it from the (original) Indian Gurmukhi script for Punjabi into the Shahmukhi script in which Punjabi is written in Pakistan. Navkiran explained this engagement with the many cultural, social and geographical similarities across the border and a shared issue of agrarian crisis.

Shahmukhi translation of Trolley Times Ed. 11.

Narratives of Solidarity

Solidarity is central to the formation and sustainment of any social movement as it collectivizes what would otherwise remain individual emotions. Hannah Arendt states, it is through solidarity that a community of interest with the marginalised, oppressed, and exploited is (deliberately and dispassionately) established. Terminologically speaking, “solidarity is a principle that can inspire and guide action” [Reshaur 1992, 724]. Following this conceptualization, creating ways of self-mediation and counter-narratives is one way of establishing solidarity with the Farmers’ Movement. Rakopoulos establishes solidarity as a concept that bridges – “that is, captures loosely and yet in tension – diverse modes of practices, forms of sociality and mechanisms of envisioning future prospects for people’s lives. It links diverse networks of people and sometimes contradictory meanings”[Rakopoulos 2016, 142]. Solidarity as a “bridge-concept” thus describes a perceived unity that spans ideologies, social, and regional categories. Similarly, McGarry et al. links the enactment or performance of solidarity to “different voices being heard” [McGarry et al. 2020, 16].6

In the discourse in and around Trolley Times people often describe the Farmers’ Movement as bringing communities of different religions and occupations together (i.e. farmers and workers), as being trans-regional, trans-ideological and the significant involvement of women is emphasized. Trolley Times’ mission statement already includes the concept of “bridging”:

“We are aware that partisan publishing representation can create rifts in the movement. Our team works round the clock to choose write ups that look beyond such differences and commit to the progress of current movement that is exemplary because of the unity of farmers, labourers and other sections. […] The organizations’ leadership has worked resolutely to tread the ideological differences between themselves and bring this united movement to a point where its ultimate conclusion is victory.”[Trolley Times 2020] (my emphasis)

Protesting women. Photo by Rupinder Singh on Unsplash

The narrative of solidarity across divisions is very present in many articles published in Trolley Times.

“The movement is an inspiration for India’s future, where people from different ideologies and backgrounds can come together and work for the collective benefit of all.”[Sharma 2020, 3]

Other remarks are more specific about the divisions that the movement transcends, i.e. gender differences:

“It is an accomplishment of the farmers’ protest that it has erased these historical differences. Women and men have chosen to unite against a common enemy.”[Toor 2020, 1]

However, solidarity helps create networks but does not necessarily facilitates egalitarianism, it is a relation that is negotiated across power imbalances [Mohanty 2003]. A strong narrative of solidarity and unity might even serve to invisibilize these power imbalances between social groups. For instance, Lerche elaborates on the dominance of Jat farmers’ in past and contemporary agrarian movements and the difficulties in creating a political coalition with Dalit and Muslim farmers’ unions and argues that “the unity of the movement is forced upon the concerned social groups”[Lerche 2021, 1380]. He cites several reasons why the struggle over agricultural laws is important for exploited and oppressed groups as well as for capitalist farmers. Most importantly, Lerche stresses the potential to challenge the current government's political oppression far beyond the agricultural sector. However, he does not foresee this broad-based unity to last beyond the protests.[Lerche 2021]

The dominant narrative from within the movement, of which Trolley Times is an important voice, emphasizes a conceptualization of solidarity that works in tandem with the notions of unity and secularism. Unity is often equated with collectivity. The poem “It’s a festival” by Surjit Patar published in Trolley Times[Patar 2020, 4] features two exemplary lines:

“No, this is not a crowd, it is a sangat, the collective of souls.”

“Leaving I behind, to go to Us and We”

This discourse connects to the notion of secularism which in the Indian understanding is not the strict separation of state and religion but the mutual tolerance and acceptance of all religions. The Farmers’ Movement shares a recurring reference India as a secular republic with other recent protest movements in India. The anti-CAA protest in Shaheen Bagh (December 2019-March 2020)7 was spearheaded by Muslim women who challenged the dominant media representation of their religious community but the protest on the ground was secular in nature. Symbols of the Indian republic such as the national flag or regular protest activities such as public readings of the preamble of the Indian Constitution document secularism, equality, socialism, and sovereignty as core values and guidelines through which the Constitution gains its validity.

“Through their conversations, discussions, and debates, they [the women of Shaheen Bagh] were imagining a secular nation into being - a country where questioning the government, working together as citizens, and challenging discrimination and hatred through peaceful ways is the new normal.” [Bhatia and Gajjala 2020, 6294]

Indian flags could be found at the Farmers’ protests as well and on the occasion of Republic Day (26 January) 2021 Trolley Times published its 8th edition with the preamble of the Indian Consitution as its cover page.

“The Preamble to the Indian Consitution” (Hindi), Trolley Times, ed. 8, 26.01.2021.

The discoursive way secularism is referred to in the Farmers’ Movement is similar to the anti-CAA movement and usually includes a reference to the idea of the “oneness of humanity” in Sikhism, thereby connecting political and religious discourses.8 Guru Nanak envisioned a fundamental, common truth underlying the faiths of diverse people and for him and his followers the equality of humanity was to become the ethical paradigm.[Singh 1992, 340]

Visions and practices of an ideal society

“Those who want Sarbat Da Bhalla (Wellbeing of all) are presenting an exemplary character to the world.”[Mahesari 2020, 2]

At the protest site. Photo by Rupinder Singh on Unsplash

Connecting to the idea of oneness, many comments indicate a strategical decision to demonstrate peacefulness, unity, and non-violence in order to provide an ideal example of how humans can live together. During interviews and in the Trolley Times stories, participants describe the protest sites as exemplary spaces, almost utopian “ideal towns or ideal societies” in contrast to the decaying Indian democracy.

Navkiran Natt erlaborated how she sees the protest sites at the Delhi borders as good examples of communal living:

“These are small towns and they are having each and everything that one town should have. They are having their own libraries, and film screening centers and schools and everything. […]

These protest sites they are exemplary spaces in the sense how a community should live. That sense of collectiveness, the opportunities or the material things are available for everyone across caste, class, region, religion and race, everything, even gender. I want the same sense to prevail globally as soon as possible and we will fight until then.”[Natt 2021]

In a variety of sociopolitical contexts, solidary strategies reinvent pre-existing repertoires. Her account informs us of practices of resource pooling, community kitchens, and mutual aid. These are guiding principles of village culture, here invoked with the intention of forging solidarity. Thus, solidarity is at once specific to a certain situation but also has a sociocultural history of its own. Rakopoulos calls this the “re-contextualisation of village-hood”[Rakopoulos 2016, 143] in times of crisis.

Preparation of a communal meal at the protest site. Photo by Rupinder Singh on Unsplash

A vivid example is the revival of the Sikh tradition of langar that became a symbol for the Farmers’ Movement.9 It is clearly a tradition that belongs to a specific socio-religious repetertoire of the subcontinent which has been practised since centuries. Cooking, eating and distributing food as a performance of bonding and solidarity became very typical for the Farmers’ Movement. There is now perhaps even a kind of global repertoire of practices within protest movements like community kitchens, libraries, eating together and in public, etc. Many of these practices share a kind of “nostalgia for the rural”, imagining a quasi-rural or anti-urban form of community - even when they are not about peasants.10

Historical Repertoires and Capitalism critique

A form of political nostalgia characterizes the movement even beyond its reference to the rural. By evoking images of ‘indigenous’ struggles towards a better future, contemporary protest movements produce a certain kind of nostalgia of India’s socialist past as well as of historical movements against oppression and exploitation in contrast to the undemocratic and repressive reality under the current Hindu nationalist regime. Repeatedly referred to historical repertoires and figures include Bhagat Singh, Mahatma Gandhi11, B.R. Ambedkar, the Ghadar movement, Sikh gurus and various historical Sikh warriors.[Singh 2021]

Images of revolutionary Sikh role models (from left to right): Udham Singh, Kartar Singh Sarabha (a leading member of the Ghadar Party), Bhagat Singh holding a Punjabi translation of the novel “Mother” by Maxim Gorki, and Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. Photo by Rupinder Singh on Unsplash

The dominant narrative in Trolley Times juxtaposes the struggle of the aforementioned historical pioneers for a just and equal society with the current political scenario. A dominant feature is a strong critique of India's neoliberal economic policies and capitalism in general. The criticism is directed in particular against the “sell-out” of agriculture to large corporations. Two of India’s richest businessmen, Mukesh Ambani, head of Reliance Industries, and Gautam Adani, head of the Adani Group, have become symbolic figures of exploitative capitalism in this struggle.

“In sating the intentions of Ambanis and Adanis, this government has sold the education of this country so it can open Jio University12. It has sold the security of this country so Ambanis can make Rafaels [sic!]13, sold airports and ports so Adanis can make a profit. It has sold railway stations. Only our soil was left but they are preparing to sell it too.” [Kumari 2020, 3]

One of several cartoons published in Trolley Times depicts Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushing Mukesh Ambani on a swing that is actually a gallows. In the background, farmers who died by suicide are seen hanging from trees. “Farmers Suicides” is written on the tree trunk.

Cartoon by Mir Suhail. Trolley Times, Ed. 1, p. 3

The message is easy to understand and similar to many other texts published in the newsletter: Modi and his corporate “friend” Ambani are amusing themselves by ignoring the plight of the farmers and even using the structure that kills them for their own benefit (the gallows became a swing). The protestors claim that the Modi government favors business tycoons at the expense of ordinary citizens and that businessmen will benefit from the agricultural laws that farmers oppose. However, the cartoon also points to an imminent danger for the swinging Ambani: If he slips, the gallows will strangle him.

Conclusion

These first glimpses into the wealth of material from the Farmers’ Movement’s diffuse protest archive attest to the fact that the production of counter-narratives is an important aspect of their internal and external communication strategies. Self-mediation or “being the media” is a regular response to mainstream media representations that often invisibilizes or stigmatizes social movements. Trolley Times is an interesting example of how protest is supported medially and the ways counter-narratives and solidarity are mediated. It aimed at countering mainstream media narratives, informing about the cause, and building affective ties among protestors and supporters via a differentiated multilingual cross-media strategy including social media handles, video material, print publications and public performances.

Protest in solidarity with the Indian Farmers’ Movement in New York City. Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

According to a follow-up interview with Navkiran Natt[Natt 2022], the impact of Trolley Times was felt in the very positive response from the protesting farmers’ and especially by the positive feedback from the global readership of the newsletter, which is primarily composed of the Indian diaspora. The editorial team is convinced that their one-year-long initiative has aided in making the movement nationally and internationally more visible. To build on this successful strategy of activism, Trolley Times will continue to exist in the future in a slightly different format as a multimedia offering focused on issues and policies affecting agriculture. Its prime target group according to Navkiran Natt will be young people in Punjab. Trolley Times will continue as indymedia and at the same time be an entry point for young people into activist publishing.

Over the last year, the production of protest artefacts, the circulation of symbols and discourses have created a collective memory of the Farmers’ protest. It is the task of future research to investigate what happens to this collective memory: Will it enter the national consciousness and become and integral part of a broader national narrative? By transferring knowledge, people social movements become “epistemic communities”[Lipschutz 2001] - but will this community survive after the immediate cause? Even though the movement achieved its primary goal with the withdrawal of the three agricultural laws, many issues related to the agrarian crisis and conflicts with the current government remain.

The fact that the Samyukt Kisan Morcha was formed on the basis of a coalition of farmers’ unions needs to be reflected when we discuss the aesthetic and communicative practices of the movement and also the performance of secularism and anti-capitalist critique. Navkiran Natt situates the initiative of Trolley Times within a certain kind of nostalgia for ‘old’ activism and traditional print media which connects this contemporary movement to earlier socialist and unionist movements on the subcontinet which were dedicated to anti-capitalism and notions of equality and secularism as well. There is much discussion about ‘new’ social movements in the digital age, but this successful protest movement seems to prove that ‘old’ social movements are by no means dead. One might even assume that such heterogeneous mass movements have even greater chances of success, since they are able to reconcile many concerns and give the impression of a true representation of the people.14

The political mobilization of farmers’ and many other social groups in India will last with great certainty. And so does the need for further research.

Acknowledgement

I would like to thank my colleagues Nadja-Christina Schneider, Dhanya Fee Kirchhof and Julia Strutz for discussing, reading and commenting on draft versions of this article.

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