Owners of a Kelowna-based Indian restaurant are being threatened with a boycott due to accusations they are unsupportive of farmers’ struggles with the Indian government.
Brijesh Negi, the owner of Made in India, says his business has received public backlash over a social media post made by one of his business partners years ago supporting Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, a subject of ire among Indian farmers protesting new regulations imposed by his government. Recently, Negi says the post was unearthed and shared across several WhatsApp groups.
The post does not reflect the restaurant’s current views, Negi told the Capital News.
“We want to make it clear — we stand with farmers.”
A review posted to Made in India’s Facebook page states that the restaurant’s owners have “openly come out” in support of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the party leading the country’s political alliance.
“[The BJP is the] opposition who is coming for the farmers! This is a shame! These owners have been able to open three locations because of people like farmers!” Tera Bapu wrote, adding hashtags #kissanzindabaad #boycottmadeinindia.
Negi dismisses the claims as social media rumours that people have misinterpreted.
“[Farmers] are the source of food; of course we are with them,” said Negi.
Many protests have taken place across Canada and the world in recent months against new agricultural laws imposed in September by the Indian government. In part, those laws allow farmers to sell products directly to private buyers, rather than intermediaries adhering to the state-controlled minimum support price (MSP), which since 2009 has safeguarded farmers’ profits. While Modi has stated the laws will allow farmers to earn more money by opening new revenue streams, farmers have expressed fears that private buyers won’t adhere to government-set minimum prices, resulting in significant losses.
In India, the farmers’ protests near the country’s capital city, Delhi, have been met with tear gas and water cannons — as such, protests have expanded worldwide, with many calling it the world’s largest peaceful protest.
Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org