As per the official portal of PIB Press release, posted on 20 SEP 2020 by PIB Delhi,
“Parliament today passed two bills aimed at transforming agriculture in the country and raising farmers’ incomes. The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 which were passed by Lok Sabha on 17th September 2020, were passed by the Rajya Sabha also today. The Bills were introduced in Lok Sabha on 14th September 2020 by Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, to replace ordinances promulgated on 5th June 2020.”
While this bill talks about the better options given to farmers, empowering them to sell their produce as per their wish and benefits, it also continues with old system. Farmers can sell their produce to mediators or directly to the private players who would be able to acquire as per the MSP which shall be declared within a week of selling window. Bringing in private players with direct access to the farmers would not only remove the middlemen but also would provide better value to the farmers.
Instead of the Pros & Cons of the Farmers Bill 2020, which already has been covered thoroughly, let us see what made this bill; face one of the largest opposition in recent history of India. Going by the timeline when this bill was still on the table as an ordinance, there were few whispering objections from various groups, mainly Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU). On June 14th, they issued a press release stating such ordinance is strongly against the farmers’ interests and would end up killing the farmers. From then onwards, several small scale protests took place where farmers would stand on their rooftops to show their disagreement to the ordinance. Point to be noted here is that all such protests happened in Punjab only and never got any ground support from the farmers of other states or even adjoining states like Haryana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
On 25th October 2020, protests were converted in to “Delhi Chalo” clarion call, ignited by the failure of “Rail Roko” which disrupted the supply of goods to Punjab and Haryana.
Currently, Delhi has been taken hostage by political protesters camouflaged as farmers, however this gives us some time to think what could and should have been done to avoid all the chaos.
In last 6, closing to 7 years of governance, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) led by PM Narendra Modi and strategic think-tank Home Minister Amit Shah, has launched several projects and programs for the wellbeing of the common man as promised in their manifestos. Sole aim, as it seems till date, is to uplift the poor and pity state of the society and extend a helping hand to the under privileged.
Government, playing on the front foot, seems to be lacking in the preparation of policy making and implementation of the policies, once passed through the houses. Need of the hour is to look in to this aspect so that such protests could be easily avoided in future. Right from the very thought of the domain modification till the education of the targeted audience, is crucial in any process. BJP as ruling party needs to ascertain that each individual as the stakeholder to the change gets the right information and that to directly from the horse’s mouth. Failing to this, would leave a huge opportunity to those with preying eyes to create the ruckus in the name of opposition, posing as torchbearers of “justice for the poor”.
About time to have systematic information download process, reaching out to the farthest corners of the country to ensure, each person, who had been the key object as recipient of the benefits, understands the core points and sees the new change in friendly sight. Just like “Asha workers”, need to have organized teamwork, employed under various employment schemes and/or NGOs volunteering as effective role players. Even, organizations like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) can play a vital role since they already have a huge workforce and better understanding of the society. Their reliability is another major factor from BJP’s perspective, being the silent powerhouse for them.
DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.