What’s now for farmers & government ?

It’s been a fortnight since the farmers are on highways. Several rounds of talks, discussions are failed with ministries of the central government. While the government has proposed to make changes in the law, the farmers’ unions are firm on their stand to repel the three laws. The solidarity and support to farmers are growing with various sections of groups from all across the country, trying to reach Delhi and intensify their protest until the government decides to repeal laws. This protest notably, the largest of its kind where farmers are reaching to unite their voices.

The Prime Minister repeatedly applauded the farm laws that will only benefit farmers to a great extent and freedom to sell their products anywhere in the country. Very interestingly, the PM ignored the protesting farmers on Delhi borders at least by words. Many notable persons expressed their solidarity with farmers some by resigning their jobs, returning their medals & awards, helping food and other essentials to protesting farmers in the cold and chilly atmosphere. The soil scientist Dr. Varinder Pal Singh, refused to accept the award on stage by M/o Chemical & fertilizers saying that his conscience is preventing him to accept the award at the time when govt. is causing unnecessary pain to farmers.

So, the question is how long this protest will go and uncertainty surrounded here?

Apart from the flaws in the three farm laws, there needs to be realised that the way the government passed the three laws in a very bizarre situation. The bills were passed in Rajya Sabha by voice count despite MPs asking recorded vote count. Acting accordingly, the deputy chairman of the house put the voice bill on count soon after the agriculture minister finished his speech. The mics and Broadcasting were paused for a while to proceed count. And the Sunday’s noon in the darkroom being heard none, the three farm bills passed in a very undemocratic manner. It is well known that the NDA lacks a majority in Rajya sabha. The bills were neither referred to select committee nor the standing committee. So the bill bypassed every possible hurdle and tabled for the president’s nod.

It is at this step the laws bypassed the scrutiny, ignoring the interests of a large section of stakeholders especially, farmers in this case. Referring to the standing committee, the bill could have gone rigorous scrutiny, consultations, discussions, recommendations. There were very fewer bills that were referred to committees that were put forward by the NDA government. Further, the drafting of bills seems to be in the interest of a handful of stakeholders ignoring the interests of targeted beneficiaries. This has led to the outrage and backlash by the people that were adversely affecting their well-being and rights. In what way it should be understood if the government making laws bypassing scrutiny of the bill, passing the bill in a manner accordingly them and the litigations against them are not being listed in SC?

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The sensible question is if farmers are not willing to accept such laws, then why the government is insisting on them to accept? 

There were many instances of farmers protest that ended with some sort of promises but the ongoing protest is certainly not of that kind. They are writing history pages. The farmers and the government are now on the midway of the one-lane bridge. Either of them cannot cross the bridge at the same time. So one needs to step back. If farmers stepback then the victory is not only over the farm laws but on all the bill & laws. It will demotivate, erode courage in all sections of society. The voice of dissent dies. If the government step back then, there are a lot more voice to be heard by them. It will severely undermine the political power of its regime. We should wait for the next few days what this leads to. The next years will be influenced by them who crosses the bridge first.

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