Why do we ignore the CRY?

Why do we ignore the CRY? - Vimal Jose Alex, I Year, MCJ

My personal stand about this complex issue is definitely that one should stand with the farmers. It is natural that as a developing country, India needs great GDP to boost economic development; so Indian Government is taking the side of the big business groups and corporates. But this country we live in now is built by great effort and investment by the farmers’ community to a great extent. The majority of our population is farmers. India’s basic occupation, especially in the rural areas, is still agriculture. So, our farmers deserve our respect and good reputation; just like the soldiers. It is obvious that the government should support them. Instead, we notice that the government is simply ignoring farmers rights. Not every farmers association around the country has joined the protesting farmers’ alliance. Each day, protest needs strength. Higher strength means it would become one of the top priorities for the nation. More celebrities and popular persons should join with them to continue the protest until the Government responds with a better deal for the farmers.

Farmers at the mercy of the Corporates - Sandra E J, I Year, BMCJ

The Indian farmers' protest is an ongoing protest against the three Farm Acts which were passed by the Parliament of India in September 2020. The acts have been described as "anti-farmer laws" by many farmer unions. The farmers and politicians from the opposition also say these three laws would leave farmers at the "mercy of corporates". The government, however, maintains that the new Acts would make it effortless for farmers to sell their produce directly to big buyers, and allege that protests are based on misinformation.

As a response to the contrast between the farmers’ perspective and the government’s point of view, I express my deeply-troubling concern if we are witnessing the transformation of Indian democracy from a liberal one to dictatorial one. I fear secular citizenship may now no longer exist in India, as religion has become a criterion for denying citizenship rights to “suspect” citizens. And yet, as a student and admirer of liberal democracies, I choose to hold on to hope because, as the Indian state takes an increasingly unilateral turn, increasing number of Indian citizens of India here and Diaspora elsewhere, are pressing on the demand and a call for all of us: “Delhi chalo!!”

Why do we ignore the cry?  - Meenakshy K S, I Year, MCJ

In the first place why were such controversial farm bills introduced without a prior consent? Why were they not brought before the public, discussed with policymakers in the parliament, and most notably with the farmers? And once the farmers had started protesting, why didn’t the Union government reach out to them and talk? Instead the government simply chose to imply that the farmers do not understand ‘the agriculture industry’! If the Union government ever listened to the state governments suggestions, the agitation would not have reached Delhi’s outskirts. The farmer’s job is to plant the crop, but it is the government’s job to help the farmer nourish the crop to get the best harvest and moreover protect the farmers and fulfill their needs. The farmers plant the crop every season, but the government’s responsibility is to provide good fertilizers, quality insecticides, adequate water for irrigation, and support price for their produce (MSP).

Farm Bills and Farmers’ Protest - Sruthy K S, I Year, BMCJ

There is a big difference in theory and its practical implementation. Farm laws seem to be beneficial for the farmers so much from the theoretical point of view. But, eventually it may lead to excessive privatization and impose too high prices and charges on the poor farmers. Marginal and small farmers account for 86 percent of total farmers in India with less than 2 hectares of land. Most of these farmers don't have irrigational facilities and are dependent on rains. Thus they cannot assure delivery of the farm produce even if they enter into contract with private buyers as envisaged in the few farm laws. If it happens so, the private buyers, individuals or corporates, either would make the farmers pay a heavy price for it or they totally withdraw from doing business with such poor farmers. Thus the whole idea of helping the small farmers outlined in the new Farm laws, is defeated.

The new laws will enable the private players to tie up with big farmers who can assure delivery of the farm product on time. They will in turn freely store up the same in god downs and ultimately will control the supplies in the market. This will only legitimize the present day exploitation by black marketeers and unscrupulous elements. At present there are no restrictions in selling the farm produce anywhere within the state, contrary to what is being claimed by the government. At the same time, there are no rules for the private players in the new laws; no limit to storage or hoardings, no rule for distribution and no price control. Thus they will dominate the market. The MSP and PDS are meant to support the interests of our farmers. In this context, the ongoing protests are justified and their demands should be met by the central government. This government side with ‘adanis’ and ‘ambanis’ and make the plundering of the country’s wealth in the agriculture sector easier for these big shots and corporates.