- The agitating farmers demanding the complete repeal of three Agri-Laws appear to be firm in their stand while the Union Government has stuck to its stated intention of not bending to the claims. With both parties not budging an inch, the common people are feeling the heat generated by the meandering approach adopted by the protagonists involved. As tempers keep raising over the long unresolved issue, there are sporadic incidents of violence reported from ground zero leading to skirmishes and injuries. Something had to give in and unfortunately, it resulted in a disastrous outcome. Recently, one such incident turned to tragedy as Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri witnessed the death of both agitating farmers and BJP workers largely owing to the escalation of provocative rhetoric in recent weeks.
PC: Prabhash K Dutta
- As is known, the farmer’s union has adopted a rigid stand of continuing to agitate in Delhi and UP and social boycott of BJP lawmakers leaving the Government of India with two options. One, politically isolating protesters might lead to further intransigence in the farmers’ resolve. The second option is to repeal farm laws which is a terrible one not only setting a bad precedent in the face of badly required reformist measures but also would set an entirely avoidable precedent for similar demands in the future. Thus, left with the first option, the authorities have to approach the issue by eschewing inflammatory statements like those emanating from Haryana chief minister and junior home minister riling the protesting farmers no end.
- Antagonistic rhetoric from BJP only helps farm union leaders to don the mantle of victims. Of course, eagerly waiting opposition ranks would jump into the bandwagon to corner the ruling dispensation to score a brownie point or two in the bargain. The situation has reached a stage where it is advisable on the part of all concerned that a festering standoff with no reasonable solution in sight will be dangerous. The time is ripe to pull back and show political maturity, dexterity, and wisdom by recognizing the agitation can go out of hand, especially with Punjab and crucial UP heading for polls. In hindsight, lack of public consultation and disinclination to hear opposition views were a definite mistake. What is the way forward for the Government then?
PC: FE Online
- The BJP must leave no stone unturned by reaching out to the majority of the small farmers explaining how they are deprived of the benefits which are largely accruing to big farmers in the form of minimum support price and procurement support in three states of Punjab, Haryana, and western UP. There is a necessity to explain why a small group of rich farmers cannot dictate agriculture. This is where the BJP is found wanting which could be course-corrected by adopting aggressive reaching out initiatives to impress upon the small farmers. In the meanwhile, it does not harm if the Supreme Court expedites long-delayed hearings on farm legislations with deliberations failing. Hopefully, acceleration of the judicial process may help in cooling political tempers.