Public opinion on farmers’ issues now would get some clarity?
On the day of the great Sikh saint, Guru Nanak Dev day the government thought fit to withdraw the most draconian three laws on the farmers’ issues. Those who had agitated were the farmers of three most agricultural states, Punjab, Haryana and Western UP which together contributes to the most successful agricultural production and export targets of the government.
All these three controversial laws were aimed at very substantial issues that were agitating the farmers for long.But what created the big why the biggest ever farmers one-year long protest that had not been seen in the country’s history in the free India where, before that, we had always read about the many famine, hunger and poverty in the Indian agricultural sector about which no British historian had written in any depth and concern nor any of the other Indian historians gave much attention. Even in the post independent Indian writings, we had no any new perspectives on the farming issues, issues that ironically led A.O. Hume to found the Indian national Congress.
Now, gradually, the Indian economic history, we hope would be written in some broad perspective where the bulk of the Indian population are still dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. As per the latest statistics, India’s agriculture today contributes just 14 percent of output to the Indian GDP while 40% of labor is still dependent on the agri sector only.
We have to have great sympathy and humane concern with the Indian farmers even now for what triggered. The farmers agitation today to such an irrational length is the deep-rooted poverty and stagnation and thus more persistent hunger and under nutrition and poverty.
We saw only too recently the reverse migration of rural labor on the occasion of the Corona Virus Outbreak and thus it was also a reminder of the India’s backwardness and poverty and a sort of political negligence.
The point we want to highlight is not any political issue at all. The over-all Indian mindset that evolved with the history, from pre-mogul Times to the British days where the caste system and the religious pro-activities and social inequities always held down the lower social groups and only the tiny upper crust held all the privileges.
Even now, we dare say, the democracy we pretend and practice is a sham as once we all seized power in the name of democracy we resort to much arbitrariness, we don’t take the Constitutional provisions seriously.
Bureaucracy is spreading and taking hold much of the civil society activities, from administration to other areas, the hold of the retired bureaucratic officials are spreading with an iron grip all the civil liberty areas. Beware of this unhealthy social and political outlook. This is just a slight warning, in spite of so much fear and selfishness on the part of the well-off sections, the middle and upper classes.
We don’t even care for the Parliamentary procedures. We issue ordinances to promote agricultural reform laws! We rush through Parliament without a debate as such. We don’t refer to the Parliamentary committees. Why such rush and hurry? Why we so quickly forget democratic processes.
At least this time, much suffering, a death of high number, about 700 farmers lost their lives, let us be more sympathetic. Let not narrow political dividends, elections in UP, Punjab and elsewhere dictate our policy making impulses. Let the vibrant democratic norms take hold our power wielders, let us demonstrate, a real change of mind and show much magnanimity when it comes to the down-trodden and the poor rural people.
Farmers even when they earn in big sums are after all are no match to the non-farmers, the urban migrants are much better today. So, we need deeper commitment and strong willed policy making thrust.
Let us spread a liberal and secular mindset. Let us lay the foundation and not the penchant for revenge. Jai Hind!
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