01

Feb

10:36pm
Abass Rather and Aqib Yousuf India
Farm Laws: Step Towards induction of Neoliberal  Policies

Farm Laws: Step Towards induction of Neoliberal Policies

Abass Rather and Aqib Yousuf India//10:36pm, Feb 1st '21

Ever since Modi led NDA government started the tenure after Modi' swearing-in as the 16th Prime Minister of India on 30th May, 2019, the anti-working class and pro-Corporate policies has begun to gain prominence. Constitutional institutions are losing their significance as they are manipulated by this brute majority. We have seen how constitutional trickery was applied to scrap article 370 and 35A and brought down the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into Union Territory. This was the beginning of unending process of dismantling democratic, federal and constitutional institutions. The manner with which bills are brought and passed in the parliament are now regularly being repeated. First it was done to erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir and now to the kisans(Farmers), popularly know as 'Annadata'

Modi government's policy of undermining the federal structure of India and Centralizing everything is basically the assault on the very basis of Constitution. They are taking undue advantage of pandemic by pushing through anti-farmer and anti -worker legislation without taking farmer unions and the people related to it in confidence. The recent passing of three farm laws first brought through ordinance and then passed by voice vote in the Rajy Sabha without any discussion, is the serious assault on the Constitution and the foundation of democracy.

The three farm laws viz The 'Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020' and ‘The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020’ and ‘The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 is an attack against federal principles and snatching the rights of the state governments. It is pertinent here that Agriculture is listed in the state list of the seventh Schedule of the Constitution. Consultation of state governments and farmers were not considered imperative by the corporate backed Modi govt. These farm laws are meant to strengthen the agribusiness corporates like Adani and Ambani and sell off the farm sector to them. This is known to everyone how big corporates are getting benefitted and helped in the acquisition of land by the current dispensation. Laws are amended and even new laws are promulgated to benefit big corporates.

We are witness to the fact that due to low income and debt farmers are committing suicide at a very high rate. These new laws will further deteriorate the already deteriorated conditions of the farmers. Farmers are protesting against these laws from the last two months and demand the immediate repeal of these anti-Kisan, anti-worker and pro-corporate farm laws and the withdrawal of the Electricity Amendment Bill. There were tens of thousands of farmers stationed near the Delhi border mostly from Punjab, Haryana and UP. The farmers are being led by the SamyuktaKisanMorcha (SKM), consists of over 500 Kisanorganisations in the country. Kisans show an unprecedented unity and harmony.

SamyuktaKisanMorcha's decision to organise tractor parade on Republic Day did not suit the govt. They were at the outset denied permission but the steadfastness shown by the KisanMorcha pressed the administration to give the green signal. On Republic day,26 january, tens of thousands of tractors began their tractor parade, hoisted tricolor along with their organisational flag on there tractors, peacefully to show the peasant unity. Some fringe elements backed by the govt tried hard to discredit and dismantle the movement by barging into the premises of Red Fort and hoisting Sikh NishanSahba on an empty pole. The corporate media highlighted the issue so much to tarnish the peaceful protest by focusing only on Red Fort incident . It is not a hidden fact that the main culprit on whose behest this was done is a BJP man who was an election agent of Sunny Deol. As reported by the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS] 99.99 percent farmers paraded peacefully and only 0.01percent were involved in the Red fort incident. The SamyuktaKisanMorcha not only condemned the incident but demanded thorough investigation so that main culprits get punished.

BJP wants to dismentle and tarnish the farmer protest using different tactics at different point of time. At the very outset they labelled the protesting farmers as 'Khalistani' and then later on were branded as Maoists, Naxalites. They even blamed opposition for instigating the farmers against the nation. All these ill conceived tactics were properly tackled by the the farmers. After failing to cow down the farmers, govt used pressure tactics by snatching the basic facilities like water, make shift toilets, electricity, ration and even used their goons along with police to pelt stones and lathi-charged them. In spite of all the dirty tactics used by the BJP govt, The enthusiasm and steadfastness shown by the farmers is unprecedented. It is important to mention here that almost over hundred farmers sacrificed their lives during the protest. Singhu Border has become the epicentre of Kisan protest.

This protest is not limited to only few states as propagated by the corporate media houses and the BJP. Protests are being held from Jammu and Kashmir to Kerala and farmers from almost every state joined this Kisan Movement.

Ashok Dhalwa AIKS, president remarked,

"The most heart-warming aspect of these Kisan Tractor Parades was the love and affection showered on them by the common people in and around Delhi. Thousands of them came out on the streets to welcome the farmers, showered rose petals on them, and offered them sweets, water bottles and other eatables. This showed strong public support to their cause. "

SKM unequivocally announced that the farmers struggle will continue and intensify throughout the country until its demands are not accepted.

Governments adamancy in not paying heed to the demand of repealing the farm laws may end up in greater crises. Every act of the govt should be in the interest of whole nation and just for the interest of the few corporates, whole farmer community cannot be sacrificed. Modi should not make this an issue of prestige. The revocation of these farm laws will be better for the whole country.

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