Farmers’ Agitation a Huge Worry For Modi Government

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Modi government remains adamant on not scrapping the farm laws which is the basic demand of the farmers. The laws have been projected as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

The agitation by farmers demanding the repeal of farm laws enacted by the BJP led NDA government remains a major cause of concern for Prime Minister, Narendra Modi who has repeatedly appealed to the farmers to change their intransigent attitude and see the benefits of the new legislations. He has underscored that the new laws are aimed at liberating the farmers and making their future secure.

However, the agitation continues. It became a major source of embarrassment for the Modi government when the tractor rally of the farmers turned violent on the Republic Day and the country had to witness the humiliation of the tri-colour. The Prime Minister made a mention of the shameful incident in his recent Mann Ki Baat address to the people of the country. The government has tried all the tricks in its bad including driving a wedge in the movement by creating factions among the agitators. It also sought to prop up counter-agitation. And now finally it is trying to seal the borders to Delhi where the protestors have been camping for more than a month now.

The government agreed to resolve their concerns over rise in power tariff and penalties for stubble burning. It also agreed to o continue with the system of subsidising electricity. Some time back, burning of stubble had become a major issue, with the government deciding to penalise the farmers. Now, the government has relented on that, too. Finally the government also proposed to keep the implementation of the new laws in abeyance for a year and a half till a resolution to the dispute was found.

Recently agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar requested the farmer leaders to send home the elderly, women and children. This is an attempt to create schism in the movement and put psychological pressure on farmers. However, Modi government remains adamant on not scrapping the farm laws which is the basic demand of the farmers. The laws have been projected as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

This, however, is disputed by many. The protesting farmers assert that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of the MSP and do away with the “mandi” (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of the corporates. The obstinacy of the government, which is firm on not repealing the laws, has to be viewed in the backdrop of the benefits the corporates and big businesses would draw from the conditions that the new laws are going to create. Corporates are certain to turn agriculture into a capitalist venture with the support of the government.

One should consider facts which are eye opening. For example while farmers across the country are not in a happy state nearly 1400 big and medium agro companies have been earning huge profits by exploiting the farmers. Farmer leaders say the new laws will worsen the situation instead of making the growers prosperous as claimed by the government. The battle goes on.

 

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