Before we welcome the New Year, let’s, for once, rewind to recall how 2020 itself started. And, when you do so, you will have in mind pictures of buses being torched, students being thrashed, police being targeted with stones, the internet being shut and people actually being killed.
And now, as we welcome 2021, again, we have similar scenes only less violent, more mature but equally pathetic with farmers around the Delhi borders protesting against the farm laws as NCR shivers amidst cold waves.
We won’t go into the facts that whether the farm laws are good or bad. But we surely need to rethink why such protests keep happening?
Many would say that current protests are fuelled for political benefits by oppositions like the Congress and AAP for they themselves had the same farm laws in their election manifestos in 2019.
Others, on the other hand, will tell you that the new laws could actually add to the woes of the farmers. They add, the laws, once implemented, will reduce the popularity of APMC mandis. This would mean a shut down of many mandis and farmers then will be forced to sell their farm produce at ‘trade areas’ that the new laws are trying to create. These trade areas, which farmers claim will be dominated by corporate players, will leave farmers on the mercy of corporates and they will be forced to sell their produce at a price below MSP.
Both actually are fair facts and concerns and could have been averted had the government done what it must do before passing any law. An open and fair discussion.
Not only there was any discussion with any farm union before passing the laws, but the laws themselves were passed amidst the absence of opposition in the parliament. And I’m very sure the bills weren’t even sent to any parliamentary committee for appropriate feedback.
The BJP government does it on a regular basis. Takes pride in introducing a bill, make it a law and won’t consider repealing it (even when unconstitutional) for it enjoys a thumbs up majority in the Lok Sabha and homes the capability to deal with any movements like JP Movement.
However, BJP must also recall for itself the historic lines that Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1996 said in the Parliament before resigning from the post of PM. He said “Sarkare aayengi, sarkare jayengi, partiyan banegi bigadegi, par ye Desh rehna chahiye, Desh ka loktantra rehna chahiye.”
Today, while Indians are capable enough to ensure “Desh ka loktantra rehna chahiye,” BJP and any other political party must realise “sarkare aayengi, sarkare jayengi” and work for people keeping their ego aside and uphold the ethos of the Constitution they have sworn to strengthen.