- The farmers agitating for the repeal of three interrelated Agri-laws promulgated last year by the parliament has completed six months and was observed as black day by the agitators recently. As you are aware, the over six months old agitation is being led by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella organization of multiple farm unions, protesting the complete repeal of the laws. Despite several rounds of talks between the Union Government and the Kisan Morcha leaders, the intransigent stand adopted by the latter has scuppered any chances of reaching an amicable solution on the issue.
PC: Abhishek Sharma
- The Morcha continues to organize the journey of many farmers to Delhi to protest blocking the borders amply demonstrates the inflexibility of the leaders to attempt to resolve the burning matter for good. Make note of the fact that the stay at the city’s borders has been eventful as the farm leaders certainly received a more patient hearing from the government than the opposition parties in Parliament during the passage of the three bills. Despite the government showing considerable flexibility in resolving the issue amicably, the farm unions have shown themselves to be completely inflexible and increasingly self-absorbed amid a pandemic.
- It needs no further emphasis that the basic science defining the pandemic is incontrovertible vis-à-vis infectiousness and faster rate of spread followed by even more virus mutations to emerge when large crowds congregate. The virtue of maintaining social distancing is known universally by now and at a humongous cost to lives and livelihood. It is no coincidence that India’s vicious second wave of Covid-19 largely happened courtesy of irresponsible multiple large gatherings of all kinds. There is no ambiguity as regards observing health and safety protocols to keep the virus at a distance. Any large gatherings pose risks to the entire society at large is stating the obvious.
PC: Satata Karmakar
- Thus, it makes imminent sense for the farm leaders to heed the words of the Punjab Chief Minister asking for their cooperation in the fight against the pandemic. Note that the CM has been sympathetic to their cause since the beginning. As is its won’t, major opposition parties are loath to let go of an opportunity to corner the ruling dispensation even if it is duplicitous and self-serving shenanigan. It is no surprise that leaders of 12 major opposition parties wrote to the Prime Minister on the farm laws by expressing support for the agitation. Astonishing to note that these parties forgoing national interest for the sake of getting fiendishly even at the ruling dispensation.
- Parochial consideration triumphing over the rational understanding of the situation can be seen when some of the state governments run by the opposition have taken recourse to stringent lockdowns to cope with the pandemic. Rather than use their good positions to call for an end to the agitation, further instigating the agitators through unstinted backing is ill-advised. They had a chance to influence reforms when the government offered to negotiate the laws clause-by-clause and by even offering to keep them in abeyance. Think of it, they arrogantly forsook it. Reforms should go ahead, come what may.