Monday, February 1, 2021

The Farmers Movement: the Political Message is Loud & Clear Lalit K Kaul

 The Farmers Movement: the Political Message is Loud & Clear

                                                                                                                        Lalit K Kaul

What Farmers’ movement in the 80s & thereafter stood for, is of no relevance; what Sri M S Tikait, Sharad Joshi, Prof. Nanjundswamy, Sri B S Maan, etc stood for and what were their demands are declared irrelevant today; the reasons why Dr. Swaminathan Report came into existence and what the farmers’ unions demanded based on the report is not relevant today; because all these have been consigned to the dustbin of history.

The trade unionism of farmer community (the numerical strength does not matter) seems to be approaching THE END while transforming itself into a political movement origins of which lie in the disillusionment with the extant democratic political dispensation. The call is loud and clear: Don’t have any faith/trust/confidence in what laws get enacted in the Parliament as it has ceased to reflect mood/aspirations of the people and has evolved into being an instrument for thrusting an ideology/agenda of development and growth on the people of India.

Therefore the call for unconditional withdrawal of all the newly enacted Agri laws while showing belligerent repudiation for any negotiations with the government of the day is a very momentous political event that has the potential to redefine the relationship between the ruler and the ruled.

The government of the day seems to have bowed down a bit by offering to withhold implementation of the new Agri laws for a period of 1 & ½ years. So, in a way, to a certain extent the government has acknowledged the irrelevance of the Parliament to the ground realities. The import of this offer from the government is that in future it shall be difficult for any government to enact a law in the Parliament without being sure of the ground realities.

How far can the farmers’ unions go? Let there be no mixing of what the farmers are demanding and what out of power political parties are doing to find for themselves a political space. While the farmers may not draw any strength from their support, the political parties hope to reap some harvest in upcoming elections next year. Whatever be the compulsions of the political parties, there is no imperative for the farmers to boycott them so long as they have an independent agenda.

By coming in support of the farmers, the participants in the degenerate politics that has been in vogue almost since the birth of independent Indian Nation have put themselves on a suicidal path in that they have ended up joining hands with the farmers in denying the supremacy of the Parliament in a parliamentary democracy. Either they don’t hope to capture power at Center for an unbearably long time – that may witness their disintegration from within- or they have unwittingly/ inadvertently and/or motivated by their blood boiling opposition to Modi ji  become pawns in the agenda set by the farmers; for, if this partial surrender by NDA culminates into total surrender to the farmers’ demands then those in opposition now wouldn’t know how to legislate in an irrelevant Parliament if & when they are elected to rule this cursed land.

Not very sure whether the farmers themselves have understood the import of what they have been demanding from the day one of Gherao for, if they succeed in rendering the Parliament Infructuous   then to run the parliamentary democracy would be the impossible task because no laws would be enacted for fear of the Gheraos. Shaheen Bagh is the Mother and has legitimized such activities. Not just farmers, but anybody/group can just do Gherao and the response of the law and order machinery will depend upon the election influencing capability of the mob.

The seed sown by the farmers for the change in the way this country of ours should be governed, in time they need to come up with alternative ways/set ups for governing this country. The farmers representing 2 & ¼ states have taken the lead and therefore they may have to take the farmers of other states in confidence to redefine & restate the parameters for governance of our country in a democratic way. Else, it will end up as an exercise that destabilized the extant political dispensation and governance model without throwing up a viable alternative. A huge responsibility now lies on the shoulders of the farmers’ leaders. 

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