Farm Law and Farmer Protest: A Game changing Law Hijacked by Protest
After what we saw on the Republic Day on Red Fort I am sanguine that people would be able to look at the Farmers Bills with an unbiased vision and understand the enormity of these reforms not only in the context of agriculture but also in the context of economic reforms of the nation.
Having seen the passage of the Union Budget and now that the figures are in public domain this is the right time for us to understand the importance of these bills. With Supreme Court having appointed a committee it is time for us to look ahead.
Farm Law and Farmer Protest : Experts Opinion:
To understand the protest and the implications of the bills, I had long conversations with several Farmer Leaders and one of the prominent persons with whom I had a detailed conversation was Shri. Chengal Reddy who is Chief Advisor to Consortium of Indian Farmers Associations and Honorary Chairman of Federation of Farmers Associations. (The link of the detailed conversation is in YouTube both in English & Telugu).
He welcomed the passage of these bills saying that these were the demands placed by farmers from as early as 1985 by the iconic Late Farmer Leader Shri. Sharad Joshi who was also a former MP and later these reforms were recommended by Dr. M.S. Swaminathan & several such eminent people.
Chengal Reddy’s argument is that due to the liberalization of economy in 1991 by the Former PM Late PV Narasimha Rao the services and industries sector could grow by 8% to 12% per year while due to the lack of reforms the farm sector could hardly see a growth of 1% to 2% per annum due to the lack of technology, innovation and lack of opportunities for the farmer to market their produce.
These 3 laws according to him would transform the lifestyle of farmers by providing them with access to better practices, curtail wastages, reduce labor cost, access to wider & bigger markets and there would be standardization of methodology of farming which would result in higher yield to the farmer and also a better price for the farmer’s produce.
All this according to Chengal Reddy would result in around 5% to 7% growth per year for agricultural sector which would act as a boost for the overall economy. Assuming even a 4% growth in agriculture would produce humungous growth for the overall economy of India.
Farm Law and Farmer Protest : Fear of Corporate Takeover & MSP:
Most of the Farmer leaders dispelled the fear when asked if the big corporates would take over the farm lands and make farmers a slave to them by answering that the size of our market is so big that it would be impossible for that to happen and it is a fake propaganda.
On the question of MSP, Chengal Reddy was forthright in saying that MSP is there only for rice, wheat and few more crops while the farmers in India produce over 310 Million tonnes of vegetables, fruits, spices, pulses, oilseeds and etc per year which does not come under the gambit of MSP. He also said that the produces which comes under MSP are hardly 5% to 6% of the annual produce of our country and the protesting farmers are also around 5% to 7% while over 90% to 95% farmers welcome these laws.
Farmer Leaders also questioned that that if the proposed reforms are anti farmers the farmers would have hit the streets in various mandals, district headquarters and state capitals across the country which is not being seen in the various parts of the country.
One of the them said, “a genuine farmer cannot even travel outside his village for more than a day since he has the land to till and take care of his cattle.”
If the issue was life-threatening we would have witnessed extreme reactions by farmers which is not the case and it clearly indicates 2 things which are that the real farmers are in favor of these 3 laws and those who are protesting are majorly middlemen, local politicians and arthiyas whose livelihood have been affected to a large extent by the enactment of these laws.
Coming back to MSP, we need to also take cognizance of the fact that Government is willing giving an assurance on MSP to the farmers while the protesting farmers are demanding complete repeal of these 3 laws which according to the Honorary Chairman of Farmers Consortium would be an irreversible step towards reforms for the farmers.
While the UPA government had also expressed interests in bringing out these reforms they had not shown the tenacity to make them into laws while the incumbent NDA Government had taken a bold step in implementing these farm reforms.
We need to also bear in mind the fact that most of the protesting political parties including Indian National Congress have promised in their manifestos that they would bring out these reforms. Hence most farm leaders are of the opinion that these protests by political parties are mainly driven by their political agenda rather than genuine concerns of the farmers.
Farm Law and Farmer Protest : Would Reforms Transform the Farm Sector?
Further research on the same shows us that Indian farmers badly needs access to technology and innovation since there is a huge gap between the per hectare yield in India compared to some of the countries. Refer to the table below.
|No.||Commodity||Rank as producer in the world||Average yield (tonnes per hectare)||Average yield (tonnes per hectare by the most productive country)||Most Productive country|
The above table gives us an indication that we as a nation have a long way to go in terms of increasing the yield which should be possible through these reforms.
In FY19, export of agricultural and processed food products totalled US$ 38.49 billion. As per 2018 data, agriculture employed more than 50℅ of the Indian work force and contributed 17% to 18% of the country’s GDP.
India is the fastest growing exporter of agricultural products and it is more than double than the contribution of the combined exports of European Union. Hence these reforms would be a gamechanger to the Indian Agriculture sector and the overall Indian Economy.
In the words of Chengal Reddy if our Engineers can become the world leaders by becoming CEO’s of IT companies due to the exposure to technology and access across the globe, if our corporate organizations can become globally competitive through economic reforms and if our armed forces require sophisticated weapons to protect our borders then why are the farmers deprived access to broader markets and exposure to the best of technology.
He is buoyant that these reforms would certainly give that headwind to the Indian Farmers. When asked if the Farmers association have expressed their support to the Supreme Court, Chengal Reddy replied in the affirmative saying that on December 16th 2020 and on January 9th 2021 they had communicated their support to the Bills in writing to both the Government and Supreme Court.
The only area of concern for the farm leaders who are supporting the farm laws is the dispute resolution mechanism. They are neither in favour of the dispute being resolved at Sub Judicial Magistrate nor would like the civil courts to intervene (going by the history of time taken by the courts to pass judgements).
They want an appellate tribunal to be appointed which can quickly resolve in a transparent manner. They are citing the past experiences of disputes such as on power issues where the judgements were quick, timely and the process was also transparent.
Farm Law and Farmer Protest : Why Protests?
When the reality of the farm reforms is evidently in favour of the farmers then why on earth do we see such a protest against the reforms. To understand this we need to closely look at the main actors who are driving these protests and what are their agenda.
In the words of senior RSS leader, Ratan Sharda ,“as a nation we lurch from crises to crises. Since 2014 there is not one act and action of the Government which has not made the Left-Liberal and Secular lobbies to create outrage or take it to the courts.” So we wanted to research if these protests are led by real farmers or certain vested interests and lobbies who enjoyed the perks of being intimate with ruling dispensation and now find themselves in wilderness.
What we witnessed on January 26th 2021 was the most unfortunate thing that was ever witnessed in our country in the last decade. It is an highly deplorable act by the protestors who were hellbent on wreaking chaos onto the nation and bring bad repute to the Government in the eyes of the world.
It is high time that we really look at the background of the protestors and what their main agenda is. This would allow us to take a balanced view and each stakeholder to the farming community have an opportunity to communicate to the Supreme Court appointed committee who are looking at the benefits and negative consequences of these laws.
Farm Law and Farmer Protest : Exposure:
A cursory look at the leaders of protests would give us an idea that these protests are hijacked by Left wing politicians, Opposition leaders, Secular Lobbies, Maoist thought leaders and even Pro Khalistan elements who have nothing much to do with farmers.
I have been exposing the protestors and tweeting on the same ever since the dawn of the New Year. Now look at the protestors and tell me if we should be allowed to be consumed by the fake propaganda of these protestors.
Atul Kumar Anjan heads the (All India Kisan Sabha – Ajoy Bhavan) who are spearheading the protests. Anjan is National Secrtary of CPI and had been unsuccessfully contesting from Ghosi Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh. He infamously called the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi as a Devil.
The 2nd most prominent organisation is the CPM Farmers front of Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha (Ashoka Road Faction) which is led by Hannan Mollah. He was an 8 time member of Lok Sabha from Uluberia in West Bengal. He lost the 2009 LS election and stopped contesting elections. He has taken retirement from electoral politics but pursues his leftist and Marxist agenda.
Let us bear in mind that the Left parties have completely lost their narrative in Indian polity. With the exception of Kerala they have lost their relevance in all other states except some pockets in Bengal, Kerala and Tamizh Nadu. It is pertinent for them to stay relevant and hence they have been at the forefront of destabilizing the democratically elected Government.
Another prominent protestor is Kisan Sardar VM Singh. He was a former Congress candidate from Pilhbhit in 2009 and is cousin of Maneka Gandhi He had declared assets worth ₹. 631 crores in his election affidavit and is accused in 8 criminal cases. He is the Convenor of RASHTRIYA KISAN MAZDOOR SANGATHAN & All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee. He is a multi-millionaire with political interests and by participating in Farmer Protests he wants to pursue his political aspirations and relaunch his career.
Gurnam Singh Chaduni is another unsuccessful politician who is in the limelight of these protests. He contested the 2019 Haryana Assembly election from Ladwa. He kept the issues of farmers as his central slogans during his campaign but could garner only 1307 votes out of the 1,37,763 votes (0.95%).
His affidavit states that he is an Agriculturist and Commission Agent. In fact his wife contested Balwinder Kaur contested 2014 LS on AAP ticket. Gurnam was in the front race for the ticket of AAP but the party fielded his wife at the last moment. It is a common knowledge that Gurnam Singh is close to AAP founder Arvind Kejriwal and we also know the role of AAP in these protests.
The political parties like the Congress, Akali Dal, AAP, RLD are using their second rung leaders to lead the protests is clearly visible now.
The most dangerous element of these protests were not only the presence of Maoist linked persons but also they taking the lead in these protests. One of the reasons for the failure of the talks with the Government was the presence of Darshan Pal.
He was the infamous person who said that it was demeaning on the part of the Government to hold parallel talks with other farmer organizations. Darshan was one of the person who was systematically responsible for the protests being hijacked by the anti-national elements.
He is a member of the ‘Sankyukt Kisan Morcha’ but a background research on him shows that Darshan Pal was the convenor of the 51-member executive committee & one of the founders of People’s Democratic Front of India (PDFI).
PDFI is a constituent of the Maoist movement. Apart from Darshan Pal, other founder members of PDFI includes known anti-national names like Varvara Rao, Kalyan Rao, Medha Patkar, Nandita Haksar, SAR Geelani, BD Sarma & etc.
He had clearly stated in the past that the PDFI will wage a struggle to create a genuinely democratic space in our suffocating caste/class society. According to him real democratic social relations are yet to be established in our country.
According to a study prepared by Dr MCR Human Resources Development Institute in Hyderabad, PDFI was part of Tactical United Front (TUF) formed by the Maoists, to consolidate their presence. He is known to have given interviews where he talks about Armed Struggle as an option.
While there are many who wants a solution people like Darshan Pal and Yogendra Yadav (whose credentials are well known to the people) would not like to see light at the end of the day. Their agenda is to keep the Government on tenterhooks using protests as a tool to bring disrepute to the Government.
It has been rumoured from the beginning of these protests that certain pro Khalistan elements living in America and other countries have been actively supporting and instigating the campaign to further their agenda.
This was brought to light by a senior journalist Abhijit Majumder who claims to have received voice recorded calls supporting the creation of Khalistan from USA and Canada numbers. These have been for a couple of months urging all to make the 26th January mobilisation as largescale and disruptive as possible.
This was what we witnessed on January 26th when there was brazen attempt to create chaos and unrest by climbing atop the Red Fort on our Republic Day.
It was largely due to the prudence of the police and the Government that the situation was not allowed to go out of hands and large scale riots were averted.
To borrow from cricket parlance the Government batted like that of Cheteswar Pujara in being extremely patient and showing utmost restraint amidst a calculated onslaught on the public property and the men in uniform by the protestors.
These protests have very little related to the farmers cause and farmers are mere cannon fodders in this political attempt to wage sedition, revolt and insurrection against the popularly elected Government for certain political elements like Left, AAP, Congress and other opposition parties to stay relevant.
Hence it is important for every citizen to understand the Farm Laws 2020 and the Supreme Court of India have formed a committee soliciting views from Farmers, Organizations & citizens. My request to every reader is to study these laws and the link for which is given below:
You could submit your suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.farmer.gov.in/sccommittee/Suggestions.aspx to record your views.
This is once in a life time opportunity for India to reform the farm sector and thereby achieve transformational growth.
Jai Jawan: Jai Kisan: