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'Farmers have made a phenomenal sacrifice'

By ARCHANA MASIH
November 24, 2021 10:24 IST
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'Seven hundred farmers lost their lives.'
'The protesting farmers were demonised and called names like andolanjiwi, Khalistani, anti-national.'

IMAGE: A farmer shouts slogans during the protest against farm laws on a highway on the outskirts of New Delhi. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

"Our victory would have been sweeter had he included MSP into his announcement. The future of the country's farmers depends on the MSP law," says Vijay Jawandhia, founder member of the farmer's organisation Shetkari Sangathna.

"Farmers are right about not returning to their homes till the bills are annulled in Parliament because they have little faith in the government," the veteran farm leader tells Rediff.com's Archana Masih.

Narendra Modi rammed the three farm laws through an ordinance during Covid times because he wanted to get rid of the responsibility of the MSP (minimum support price) promise he had made in the 2014 election.

Modiji realised that he has not been able to give a return of at least 50 percent profit to farmers and neither does the government has the capacity to buy all the crop from the farmer.

The farmers had also demanded that MSP should be made a legal right.

MSP based on the comprehensive cost of production (C2+50%) should be made legal for all farmers for every agricultural produce.

This is the only way by which our farmers can be guaranteed at least the MSP announced by the government for their entire crop.

 

IMAGE: Farmers protest against the farm laws. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

'Farmers made a big sacrifice'

Modiji has corrected the wrong decision taken by him by repealing the three farm laws, but let us never forget that the farmers have paid a very heavy price for this during their year-long protest.

Seven hundred farmers lost their lives. Farmers have made a phenomenal sacrifice.

The protesting farmers were demonised and called names like andolanjiwi, Khalistani, anti-national.

We thank him that he corrected his wrong and honoured the farmers demands, but he didn't say that he will introduce the MSP bill in Parliament.

Our victory would have been sweeter had he included MSP into his announcement.

The future of the country's farmers depends on the MSP law.


IMAGE: Vijay Jawandhia.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Vijay Jawandhia/Twitter

'Farmers do not trust this government'

The second poll promise made by Modiji was that he would double the income of farmers.

If the prime minister wants to do this, should he not double the income of labourers also?

The 8th Pay Commission in 2026 will see an increase in the salaries of government servants.

They will get a minimum salary of Rs 45,000 per month which is 1,500 per day.

If we keep this as a comparison, should not our labourers in villages or construction sites etc, get a minimum wage of Rs 800-Rs 1,000 per day?

These are issues that all political parties need to discuss in Parliament.

The responsibility of Opposition parties has increased because they have supported the kisan andolan. They have to follow through on these important farm issues.

It is up to the Opposition parties to see if they can convert this dissatisfaction against the BJP into votes.

The farmers are right about not relenting from their stance and returning to their homes till the scrapped bills are annulled in Parliament. They do not trust this government. They have little faith in the government.

IMAGE: Farmers protest against the farm laws in Haryana. Photograph: Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters

'CAA, NRC will never be scrapped'

They will never roll these back because that is what makes them win elections.

Using Pakistan and creating a Hindu-Muslim divide is the basis of the BJP's poll campaign.

The day OBCs, Muslims and Dalits come together will be the end of Modi's politics.

Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com

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ARCHANA MASIH / Rediff.com
 
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