Yes, this present state of affairs can’t last long!
Why do the prolonged farmers protest?
And what we have achieved after this historic protest?
There are many troubling questions! Politics is not wielding power and coercive power at that! History doesn’t stand still!
How many bother to hold on to something troubling questions. And agriculture? Perhaps the least troubling question?
How many in the present state of the class system in India bother to think of agriculture? Or the issues at the bottom of the pyramid?
The current evolution of the class system in India is that on the present opportunities and constraints only those who got on to the bandwagon of the caste and communal bandwagon can get into the limited opportunities and that means in large measure the class that get into the various categories of caste and new classes of government servants, there is a whole range of people who get education under various quotas and reservations, the various legislative protections, you can change your caste and your opportunities to climb. The ladder of opportunities and now very ironically, many get lateral entries and also manage to reach the top, the capital city and. They build their nests of opportunities.
The other end of the spectrum is the marginal, outliers where maybe it is the border of the capital city or the sneaky ways and alleys through which they reach the ultimate of the top layers, a small entry point into the easy Lutyens bungalow zone, be it the clerical jobs or other layers, be it a humble anonymous job or high profile entry into the highest layers, you retire and get extension and retention or hang around, a many do so very successfully or secretively.
We Indians make up a society. That gets variously labeled and yet you seek respectability or rather other descriptions that defy precise labeling and you are ultimately successful.
In all these permutations and combinations you realize very soon that you are on the border only. The farmers of India, the rich and the not so rich poor farmers have learnt one lesson. And that is they are the most excluded. They are forbidden at the borders only. So, the farmers were held on at the borders of the capital city.
Who are their benefactors? Anyone of the high and mighty expressed at least one for record sake on the plight of the farmers?
No, none at all! So, there you are, the unfortunate farmers, the unsung heroes! So, what are the issues here? Who are the farmers in the class layers? You are nobodies? Now, today we read in the newspapers that farmers of Punjab and Haryana are going to form parties and fight the elections! Why not?
They should do so in all their might and honor. But then let us be one thing clear. Farmers can’t fight elections given the current situation in the country. But farmers have a duty to know the full facts of agriculture the world over. Even in Europe and UK and USA agriculture is a very sensitive subject. Many in the country may not know the real issues of agriculture in any economy or for that matter in any countries are not the same. Some countries are large like the USA, China and Russia.
These are very big economies and big industry scale agriculture. And there is very high agriculture subsidies. USA pays perhaps the highest agriculture subsidy in the world. And that is why the USA is also the most surplus agriculture producer.
In the USA agriculture is a brother and economic and political and diplomatic tool. So, agriculture is both an opportunity to serve its international diplomatic and political domination tool and opportunity. So, too for Russia. Its huge wheat is a big tool of its trade and diplomatic weapon. For China is also a big economy and political heavyweight given its current impact on the world political and economic and also on its work wide view.
In India, our agriculture is still poor weapon for anything like these other countries use and deploy. Only now we have become engaged in agriculture triage and also international humanitarian aid, our agriculture is far from any other roles. India can’t also carry on with what we know as our agriculture policy making. We haven’t done so far as we can see with what we have done with the farmers agitations and passing of the three controversial bills.
Even now we need prolonged debates and agreements with all stakeholders. We need wide debates. We need to give up the old approaches. As per the latest situation assessment of the Agriculture household survey (NSSO) reported that the perked land ownership had steeply declined and now it is 0.5 hectare in 2019. A fall from 0.8 hectare in 2005.
Of course the farmers have a whole host of other problems, debts, court battles, I call every Indian farmer a litigant and at the mercy of private money lenders. So, knowing well this harsh reality, how can you go calling Indian farmers in elevated meanings etc.,
Maybe at this point of time the only way forward seems to be the agriculture subsidies. Make the direct payment any time for, this direct income support policy might get a chance to resurrect the others much neglected farming community.