Modi’s Fall before protesting farmers : Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on November 19 2021, that centre would scrape the three farm laws brought in effect a year ago.
In his address to the nation in television broadcast, especially to the farmers who were sitting in protest, Modi apologised, stating that he could not convince his farmer brothers about the adequacy and effectiveness of these laws.
“I apologise to you, my countrymen, that despite my government’s good intentions, there may have been some lack in our Tapasya (penance) that we could not convince some of our farmer brothers of the intentions of these laws which were as pure as the light from a lamp,” PM said while announcing the repeal. “On this auspicious day of Gurpurab, I appeal to all farmers who are protesting to return home in good spirits,” he added.
The agitation started with the government passing three contentious farm laws in the June of 2020. The three laws that created the hocus were:
- Farmers (Empowerment and Protection- Agreement of price assurance and Farm Services Act.
- The farmers produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act
- Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act
After several rounds of talks between protestant farmers and the government, the farm laws stayed, and the solution to the discontent wasn’t found. The farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan sat on borders and initiated the strike on November 26.
Despite the change in seasons, the protest continued and grew more when it reached Delhi borders, calling for a tussle between the two institutions in violence and battles with the police.
The farmers believed that enabling these laws would dismantle the minimum support price system, and over time, the farmers will start facing less pay for their crops since big corporate houses will dictate their terms in the buying and selling.
The withdrawal of these laws would deregulate the sale of their crops.
The Political Angle
Many have said that the decision to repel the farm laws is timed excellently since PM Modi has aimed at two targets with a single arrow. The elections are upcoming in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, where BJP was expected to be brutally dented in receiving polls.
Therefore, the smart card of gaining back the lost reputation and reducing or neutralising the anger boiling against BJP has played well.
Priyanka Gandhi, the Congress Party Leader, tweeted, saying that the PM did not care about the martyrdom of over 600 farmers in a protest to demand justice.
She also spoke about the intentional ignorance towards the mishappenings taking place with the innocent farmers, pointing to the incident of Lakhimpur Kheri where a farmer was crushed under the car by the Union Minister’s son.
She further very bluntly put forth that the decision to repeal the laws was not the act of understanding the problem and providing a solution. Instead, it was merely a move to gain the support of the people of the two states where polling is to take place.
“Now that you have started seeing the defeat in the elections, you suddenly started to understand the truth of this country – that this country has been made by the farmers, this country belongs to the farmers, the farmer is the true caretaker of this country and no government can rule the country by crushing the interest of the farmers,” she tweeted.
It was all for the political gain and vote bank of the party, said the general secretary of Congress. Rahul Gandhi from Congress adds, “it’s the defeat of arrogance”.
He requested protesters to return to their homes with an assurance that they would undertake the legislative process to repeal the laws against the farmers in the upcoming winter session of the parliament.
A committee will be formed, and members will be appointed from both State and Central governments to make minimum support prices more effective and transparent.
The committee would also look after agriculture issues related to zero budget farming, fertilisers, change in crop patterns, etcetera.
Mr Modi peppered his speech with mentions of all pro-farmer initiatives undertaken by his government, including crop insurance, income support payment to small farmers (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi) neem-coated urea.
The leaders of the farmer’s unit clearly stated in the beginning that they would settle for nothing less than the complete repeal of all the three laws, and their demand has been catered to today after a long substantial period.
It’s indeed a victory for the food providers of the country. Nothing could be better than seeing thousands of our Indian farmer brothers and sisters happy and prosperous and our nation moving forward.
The farmers were overjoyed in tears to see their efforts bringing them fruits.