But peaceful protests can’t be prolonged or unlimited!
The current farmers protests in Delhi has created a new phenomenon from starting as a peaceful protest by farmers from Punjab and Haryana, mostly Jat-Sikh farmers who, as everyone in the rest of the country knows, are relatively well-off comparatively and well organised as a professional group, they have done well in pressurising the centre.
As we write this on the 14th day of the farmers agitation in which lakhs of farmers mainly from Punjab and Haryana and the nearby areas including western UP who have gathered in massive protests and creating a great deal of misery for the farmers themselves and also for the rest of the country there are concerns about the turn the agitation might take in the next few days.
Also the agitation by India’s, perhaps the most powerful, by land holdings as well as the earning power, no less their political clout all add up to a new political dynamics, gives Indian politics its own dynamism in the world outside as well inside India. Why this sudden upsurge in Indian politics when India is also caught up with its own inherent strengths and if any, its own vulnerabilities?
The time of the farmers’ agitation seems to be a bit unfortunate. There is a widespread feeling, rather very extensively, both inside as well as outside India at the way Indian democracy’s many very strong features are suddenly forgotten it seems, by our other friends and also the perceived unfriendly countries. Of course, Chinese is the one country and people who have suddenly gone off track and have sought to speed up its unfriendly moves by amassing thousands of new troops on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and thus destabilising India’s borders and the neighbourhood countries. areas and also entering into a new memorandum of understanding with the Pakistani army and other unfriendly acts. And this is a subject on which much has been said and here there is no new comment to make.
Now, coming to the current issues that agitate the countrymen ,we have to see that in our practice of democratic values we seem to be not so very sensitive. The recent happenings apart, the very passing of the three farm laws that are now holding up a fruitful outcome of the farmers-government dialogues, in a significant manners owing to the way we had enacted the very same laws.
Why hurry in passing the laws by voice vote, not by due process of a parliamentary debate?
Also there are many other instances, in the recent past when we see many other important laws are also rushed through, why even the Question Hours an important feature of a Parliamentary democracy was done away with, debates are not conducted as they should and also some important and even controversial laws might have been referred to Parliamentary Panels so that many controversies might have been settled at the Panels stage?
There are a long list of issues that need to be referred to here but our observations are limited to few instances only. There is an air of tension and discomfort in the country. A Parliamentary democracy is like a mother ship, it must accommodate very many diverse opinions.
Indian agriculture sector has drawn disproportionately high irrational, politically driven cynical disbursement of high subsidies.
As per a latest RBI report India has disbursed (or written off) nearly Rs.2.12 trillion as farm loans since 2008 in 11 years. This was done of course by the UPA regimes and one stark lesson is that this type of farm loan waivers s wood do any more in the future. So the current three farm laws were enacted in good faith we admit. But then negotiations’ few amendments of the current laws are in ordering farmers must also see reason and withdraw the agitations in some good faith.
Democratic government is a government in dialogue with the citizen groups. We appeal to all sections let us sit together, debate and engage in very broader consensus. Conflict resolution is the very essence of a democratic government.