Letter to the Unknown Indian Kisan


  • Sandeep Kandikuppa Research Fellow, East-West Center, Honolulu
  • Pallavi Gupta Instructor, Department of Geography and Environment, University of Hawai’i, Manoa


peasant movements, India, agrarian distress, agricultural incomes, democracy


This letter is an expression of gratitude, from two students of social movements in India who are currently working in the USA, to the thousands of unknown Indian kisans (peasants). In 2020-21, peasants from across the country protested and participated in a movement widely known as anti-farm law movement—which was, in turn, triggered by the passage of three laws, together known as the farm laws, that aimed to liberalize agricultural commodity production and marketing. But what started out as a movement with a limited purpose soon morphed into a statement against the high-handedness of the Indian state. Through this letter, we pay a tribute to the farmers who drew inspiration from diverse intellectual strands including Gandhiism and Ambedkarite philosophy to craft a profound statement to highlight the precarity experienced by the farmers and in defense of India’s democratic ethos.


Davis, Angela Y. Freedom is a constant struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the foundations of a movement. Haymarket Books, 2016. 47

Kandikuppa, S and Gupta, P. “Where do India’s farmers go from here?” The Diplomat. April, 8, 2022. https://thediplomat.com/2022/04/where-do-indias-farmers-go-from-here/




How to Cite

Kandikuppa, S., & Gupta, P. (2024). Letter to the Unknown Indian Kisan. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 23(2), 136–140. Retrieved from https://acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/view/2389



Special Issue: Desirable Futures