Kisaan Andholan

Prof A N Sadhu
It is more than two months now that farmers of the country are protesting against the three Farm Bills passed by the parliament. Some eleven rounds of talks between the farmers and the government have already taken place without any tangible progress to break the deadlock enabling the farmers to return to their homes, on the one hand, and on the other, enabling the Government to address the economic and other developmental concerns of the country. The economy has been under pressure for some time, and the outbreak of COVID-19 aggravated the situation further. The recession and inflationary pressures are prominent and adding to the hardships of the countrymen. The slump in investment has reduced the employability of the youth and also hit the small business and household sector enterprises. There are many a question agitating the citizens of the country and there are no plausible answers with the government.
It is a fact that farmers have remained hard hit all through, partly because of rising prices of agricultural inputs and partly because of the failure of the government to address their concerns in time. When it is a recognised fact that Indian economy is largely agriculture based, one fails to understand why the government is not giving the required attention to this sector keeping the welfare of the farmers in mind. It is loudly said that Kisaan is the Ann-data but nobody has seriously felt concerned about a high rate of suicides among the farmers. It is a human tragedy that the Ann-data himself is driven to suicides because of the absence of guaranteed safeguards to him. One does not understand, the inability of the government to create an adequate storage facility, of its own, and procure the surplus grains of the farmers at the MSP. Even within the existing storage, lots of grains get rotten because of inefficient PDS. The deliberate mischief, at the behest of vested interests can also not be ruled out. The present Government’s oft repeated slogan of doubling the farm income by 2022 looks very lofty. That their plans do not have genuine substance, is borne by the prolonged farmer agitation. The farmers are educated and an awakened lot, many farm experts are in agreement with their apprehensions and the government itself is not in a position to convince them; then why should their demand of withdrawing the farm bills be not agreed upon. The Government seems to be conveying that it alone knows what the farmers want. Maybe the Government is honest, but if a section for whom a law is passed do not like it where is the problem in withdrawing the same. Governments do not run on ego or stubborn stances. A popular Government should do what the people want.
That the Government is not budging from its stand, raises many a question, genuinely or otherwise. Upsurge of such apprehensions does not augur well for the government and political stability of the country. The prolonged protests offer space to unscrupulous elements to vitiate the atmosphere and generate more concerns for the government.This became amply clear during the tractor rally on the Republic Day. Nobody would have ever imagined that the rally could take such an ugly turn. The law and order was thrown to winds, the security forces were made helpless and it was chaos all around the Red Fort. The auspicious place where the National Flag is hoisted on the Independence Day was vandalised and an alternative flag hoisted alongside the National Flag. The very scene was traumatic,That such an ugly thing should take place on the Republic Day is a national shame. The jubilation of the National Festival was transformed into a vulgar display at the Red Fort. Should it happen in a country which is on the threshold of emerging as a leading economic and political power of the world? Antinational forces have had a field day to translate their evil designs into visible demonstration on such an auspicious day. It cannot be taken lightly. It raises many a question on the law and order authorities, the intelligence agencies and the Government itself. Soft paddling is understandable but not at the cost of national prestige. When in the know of things that some elements, both within and outside the country, who are inimical to national interests, are at play and the Government fails to stall this ugly happening, it cannot be absolved of its lapse for not rising to the situation and making foolproof arrangements to stall it. It was a painful sight for the countrymen. Equally responsible are farm leaders who did not remain watchful and allowed their peaceful protest to be highjacked by the extremist elements. It raises quite a few doubts on their sincerity.
What happened on the Republic Day 2021, needs to be viewed and analysed in the following perspectives:
* The role of opposition parties
* The role of law and order machinery and the intelligence agencies
* The International conspiracy
During the last over six years, the opposition has been in disarray in the country. They seem to be swept away by the tsunami of 2014 where, what happened, was beyond their imagination. Obviously, the opposition parties were unable to analyse the socio political scenario of the country or probably they were incapable of rising to the situation individually and also failed to evolve a homogenous collective response to the powerful campaigning of the BJP. The situation did not change in their favour even thereafter. Ideological differences and the political power sharing has come in the way of opposition to form a joint strategy against the party in power. Embarrassed by repeated debacles, the opposition has failed to play a responsible role in all these years. The role of these parties resulted into the hardening attitudes of farmers on the negotiation table.The role of law and order machinery was, by all means, sub-optimal. They watched the swelling of numbers at the Delhi borders. It is a normal phenomenon that if the number increases in such gatherings, the homogeneity of thought and action is lost. That the protest leaders talked of peaceful rally, was not enough to be complacent and less vigilant. What were the intelligence agencies doing. They have either failed to assess the likely outcomes or the law and order machinery failed to take the intelligence inputs seriously. They cannot be absolved of their lapse on such a matter. The administration knew that some forces from across the border are directly involved in this stir and they should have been extra vigilant to stall the ugly happenings. Letting the antinational elements to storm the Red Fort, is a big lapse and what happened has pained the citizens of the country .enormously. More so when it happens on the Republic Day, the most auspicious national festival. The elements who have played with the national pride, must be identified immediately and given harsh punishment. Soft state is fine, but national pride cannot be compromised. The nation appreciates the politeness of the government in dealing with the farmers but its response to these inevitable events was not matured and adequate.
The happenings across LAC to LOC cannot be brushed aside as non-contributors to this ugly event. Their mischievous designs and conspiracies have abettors within the country be it the urban Naxalites, Tukde-Tukde Gang, anarchists and left terrorists or many other anti-national elements.
The Kisaan agitation must end.It should not be allowed to continue indefinitely. Let the approach be flexible and not rigid.It is a moral responsibility of the government to ensure that the terms of trade do not move away in favour of the corporate sector as against the farm sector , The country cannot go for capitalist farming amidst sizeable poverty and inequality, Economic concentration in few islands of affluence against the ocean of deprivation may not be in the interests of the nation, The methodology adopted at the negotiating table should be lucid and convincing guaranteeing the farmers security of their land and fair return of their produce, there should be a thorough probe to investigate the ugly happenings of 26th January, 2021. Nation is poised for a big leap forward after successfully overcoming the challenge of the pandemic. The march towards peace and progress should remain uninterrupted. Politics and economics should move in consonance.