Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh have provoked a great protest in Delhi since December 2020. It was a great protest against the 3 bills that have been passed on agriculture.
So many among us don’t even know what the cause for the farmers' protest in Delhi was. Some may not even know that a protest was held in Delhi. People in the south are unaware of what is going on in the north, has never turned their cameras into 360. It mostly focuses on one direction and on celebrities.
Three Agricultural Bills
The root cause of the protest is the passing of three agricultural bills by parliament. The protest has started even before the bills have been passed.
The 3 bills are as follows:
- The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) agreement on price assurance and farm services bill, 2020.
- The Farming, Trade and Commerce (Promotion and facilitation) bill, 2020
- The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020
According to the bill, farmers must deal directly with businesspeople and set their own rates. The government would provide a tax rebate for the farmers. (Tax Rebate: Relieves the burden of taxation by claiming a rebate.)
The government has declared that it will assist farmers and increase their earnings.
MSP - Minimum support price:
We may wonder, then, why do farmers protest against the law? Why were farmers from those states alone too stubborn against the law?
Farmers of Haryana, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh were benefited by a law named MSP, which means Minimum support price.
After a harvest, farmers would sell their harvested grains and crops to the buyers. But whenever a harvest gets stacked, the government comes in and balances the farmer’s harvest. The government purchases the piled grains and crops and pays the farmers. The farmers would not face any loss from their harvest. The government would be there for sure to take the left-over harvests. It is an assurance.
But when a corporate business enters into the swap, MSP may be retrieved in the future. Contractual basic deals would be started, and farmers may be disappointed by them. The law was mostly corporate-friendly. It forced the farmers to deal with corporate people, which is unbelievable. Thus, farmers started raising their voice against the government to stop the 3 agriculture bills from being passed. It did not reach the ears of the government, so they moved closer to the ears of the government, which was Delhi, to make their request a little louder.
They planned a great protest after passing the law on agriculture. Farmers started joining their hands. It was not done person by person; it was done bunch by bunch. People started marching towards Delhi in mass.
They were not ready to step back from their request. Since they were not sure how long and how far the protest would extend, they started from their houses with loads and baggage of grains and crops, which they had harvested during that season. They piled all their harvest and started towards Delhi. They cooked for the mass and started to live with what they harvested.
They were unstoppable and had become a major threat to the government. So, the government planned to stop farmers from entering Delhi. They had to overcome lots of hurdles, like:
- Overcoming ditches
- Water charge
- Blockages of cut down trees
- Barricades with thorns
- Concrete walls and concrete nails
1. Instead of farmers, the police started to request the government to allot four stadiums to keep the farmers from entering Delhi. They felt that it would also not be enough to withhold all the farmers.
2. Then the government requested to talk with farmers with a set of rules to speak with. But farmers were not ready to go with any of their rules. The speech went on for several segments and ended in failure.
3. The government tried to explain that the law would be useful for all the farmers and would raise their standards with benefits. But farmers did not want the law and strongly declined it.
Meanwhile, humanity stood tall with the farmers. Farmers fed the police, who stopped and bullied them. It was praised by all the people.
Talks between the government of India and farmers:
The government and farmers have had ten rounds of talks on farm laws. In the first round, farmers walked out because of the absence of ministers. Three Union ministers attended the next meeting: agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar and commerce ministers Piyush Goyal and Som Parkash. They turned down proposals to repeal the three new farm laws because it would necessitate more consultation with higher-level officials. According to reports, both sides agreed on only two concerns that farmers are concerned about. Farmer leaders also rejected the government's proposal to suspend the laws for 18 months.
Critics have condemned the government's failure and lack of communication in alerting farmers and political allies about the necessity of agriculture bills. Farm reforms have been mentioned in both the BJP and Congress proposals.
Since many rumours have been spread by other political parties, a group of protesting farmers announced that they would be creating a unit to respond to fake news that has been spread about the protests.
Farmers claimed a Bharat bandh on December 8th, 2020. Farmers from several states joined their hands to support them. The total nation has been locked down, and the bandh has started successfully. People entered Delhi and raised their voices against the law and requested the government to withdraw the laws passed on agriculture.
But the success did not last for a few hours. Like foxes entering into the flock and scattering the sheep, strangers entered into the farmers' rally and messed up the protest. A revolt has begun between the government and farmers. Farmers have been attacked and beaten to death. Revolt has become more aggressive, and it ended up being a great mess.
Later, farmers apologised for the revolt that occurred without their awareness and gathered again in a polite way. They were very strong in declining the laws. The government couldn’t stop them from protesting.
A protest of a year:
The farmer’s protest would be recorded in the history of India since it has dragged for a year. It was equal to the pandemic crisis. Farmers stayed there, even when a pandemic hit. They went to their home and again came back to protest. The pandemic did not stop them from claiming their food rights.
Apart from the pandemic, approximately 480 people have been killed in this farmer’s protest alone. If a pandemic doesn’t hit the nation, we may know how cruel it is to lose 480 lives in a protest. That too, when the protest was against the government and done by meek farmers. Their lives have not been considered for a year. They were not even noticed by the government, media, or people.
A Taste of Victory:
In the end, the day of victory has arrived.
The government has retrieved the agricultural laws on 19-11-2021. They have also apologised to the farmers for not considering them all these days. They justified the laws by claiming that they were enacted for the benefit of farmers, but they failed to explain this to the farmers.
Critics believe that this is the drama of the ruling party trying to stay in power during the next election. The states that protested against the government are going to have an election in the middle of March 2022. People from their states were in the majority, and it may have affected their party’s success during the time of election, which made the government recall the laws.
Farmers still don’t want to get back until the laws are retrieved in parliament.
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