Challenges of the farmers movement in India and lack of faith

 The capital Delhi is virtually blocked. Thousands of farmers have gathered in the border areas of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

 The 'Let's go to Delhi' campaign of farmers from different states of the country is demanding the repeal of three controversial bills on agriculture and agricultural marketing that were passed in the abbreviated parliamentary session for Corona last September. 

Farmers fear that the new law will not only deprive them of their freedom, but will enslave their big industrialists. It will bring misfortune to the indigo farmers. Everyone will be a slave.

Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Kerala are mainly involved in this expedition. 

They have come with full preparation. They have used  trucks and tractor-trailers to build temporary shelters.

 In addition to adequate warm clothing to cope with the extreme cold of northern India, food, drink, tents, medicines, blankets and bedding are stored in countless trucks and tractors for two months. 

Each truck-tractor has multiple points to charge the mobile phone. Leaders have announced that their position will continue until the demand is met.

A similar position movement started in the winter of a year ago in Shahinbagh, Delhi. The old people blocked the road, ignoring the bitter cold. 

The demand was to withdraw the decision to create the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The government has not once spoken to protesters to lift the three-month-old peaceful blockade. 

The siege was lifted after Corona's panic began. This time the farmers have come to Delhi ignoring the COVID-19 infection. The only difference is that Home Minister Amit Shah has sent a message of discussion without delay. 

Although the leaders of the movement have ignored it, it is impossible to accept a conditional proposal. The government will have to sit down and discuss their position.

The Home Minister's condition was that the farmers should move to the border area of ​​Burari after clearing the border. Farmers fear that if they go to the designated place, they will be kept captive there. 

The reason for such apprehension is the proposal to convert seven stadiums into temporary prisons. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal did not agree to hand over the stadium to the Center.

The second reason for rejecting the proposal is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Mann Ki Baat' (The speech of mind).

 He explained on Sunday how the new agricultural law is in the interest of farmers, how the reform will address long-term problems, how it will save farmers from middlemen or middlemen, expand the market and free farmers from chains. 

The farmers think that the government is inflexible, it is clear through this statement of the Prime Minister.

One more thing is clear.  Deficit of trust. The important decision that this government has taken so far, in no case has it shown interest in negotiating with anyone. The all-party meeting was not called. They did not even try to reach a consensus. 

The government has unilaterally decided to cancel the notes, introduce a uniform Goods and Services Tax (GST), amend the Citizenship Act, create an NRC or lockdown the country for three weeks to deal with the corona without any discussion. 

So is this agricultural law. So many organizations are here. But the government never spoke to anyone. Most importantly, in any single case the government did not admit its mistake. 

While it is as difficult to increase revenue by reducing the treasury deficit in this severe recession as it is to turn the circle into a quadrangle, despite strong objections, the government has shown no sign of moving away from the Rs 20,000 crore new parliament building and beautification of both sides of the highway. 

This mentality of ignoring the strong opposition of the majority has gradually increased the lack of trust in the government. Which is not a good sign at all for democracy.

Opposition to the agricultural law has been going on since that September. More in Aryavarta, less than in Deccan. Rail and road blockades continue in Punjab.

 The opposition state government is trying not to introduce central law. However, the center did not sit in talks with the protesters. Necessarily the 'Let's go to Delhi' campaign. There was nothing wrong with the ruler's efforts to thwart the campaign. 

Resistance was formed in Haryana and Delhi. But overcoming all obstacles, lakhs of farmers are on the doorstep of Delhi today. The government is flexible. 

The subsequent pace of the movement depends on the government's lack of goodwill and trust.

In the early fifties, India's total food production was 50 million tons. After 60 years, production has increased almost six times. But despite this, the amount of government investment in agriculture is less than 15 percent. 

The lack of reforms and the disappearance of the benefits of the Green Revolution have led to extreme frustration in India's grain-rich states. 

To avoid resentment, the central and state governments set minimum support prices for various crops, including rice, wheat, sugarcane and cotton, every year. This practice has gradually become a political obligation. 

The new law does not say anything about the support price. In northern India, agricultural products are traded in government-run markets or "mandis". The new law has not only exempted agricultural products from this system, it has also lifted the upper limit on crop or grain storage. Contract farming has been legalized. 

Essential products include rice, pulses, cereals, potatoes, onions and oilseeds. The government claims that this will open the market. Big entrepreneurs will be interested in agricultural products. Investment will increase. The middleman or broker will end. Farmers will benefit.

The peasantry is reluctant to accept this argument. They feel that since the law does not specify a minimum support price, large corporations will force farmers to sell their crops at fixed prices.

 Contract farming will make them laborers on their own land. At the end of the mandi system, they have to travel far to market the crop. Private and multinational companies will benefit instead of farmers.

It is difficult for the government to maintain a tough stance like Shahinbagh. The government used the Shahinbagh movement to polarize the majority. 

The peasant movement will not give that advantage. This is a difficult challenge. It remains to be seen how the two sides will overcome the lack of trust.

Post a Comment