Don’t take the farmers agitation lightly : Govt must come forward to initiate talks on various issues
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The farmers are marching towards Delhi as per media reports. Today i.e 26 th November, 10 central trade unions have called for ‘Bharat Bandh’ against the recent Farm Laws. Punjab has become the frontrunner in the protest of these laws. Not only the ruling Congress party in Punjab is spreading misinformation about the laws, but the long-term ally of Bharatiya Janata Party, Shiromani Akali Dal, has left NDA over these laws.
Manohar Lal Khattar the CM of Haryana has chastised Amrinder Singh of Punjab for inciting farmers and playing politics. The Haryana government has also taken steps to block the highways leading to Delhi.
The agitation is because of the recent farmers bill that was passed by the Narendra Modi government. In September 2020, the Central Government announced three new agriculture sector reform laws named Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance, and Farm Service Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. The main aim of these reforms is to provide a better platform for the farmers to sell their produce. Simultaneously, several clauses protect farmers’ rights on how they want to sell the crop, timely payments, and more.
Opposition parties have repeatedly said that these laws are the government’s attempt to end MSP provision. The Shiromani Akal Dal (SAD) has pulled out of NDA on the same issue ending decades of alliance.
We are of the opinion that the farmers Bill is though right needs more explanations and convincing. While the political leaders might have vested interests in carrying the protests so far there is a real fear among many of the farmers. The coronavirus too has taken its toll and there is widespread anxiety in the society that is not still visible on the surface but is simmering inside and may explode any time.
We fear that if the farmers’ agitation is not handled properly this may and go beyond control, The government must not waste time nor wait for time. It had to cut the nip in the bud before it spreads and takes a more ‘Vikraal’ loop.
While there may also be a case of political correctness and taking the initiative along with who blinks first issue, we are of the opinion that this is not the time for wasting time and the opportunity must be handled by holding the bull with her horns. Besides the Indian farmer and the agriculture sector as a whole need wide discussions and facilities which we will write about soon. There is a huge difference between what the government is announcing at what the farmers are really getting on ground.
Dr Asheesh Shah
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