Farm Bills 2020: Farmers’ protests getting no heed

Farmers protest against farm bills

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Farmers protest against farm bills

The past few months remained a carnival between government and farmers across the country on recently passed farm bills. It’s quite clear in the history of India, farmers and agriculture sector always played a significant part in economy. In same way, this is also quite obvious that farmers and agricultural labourers have never got what they deserved. Since the country got independence, several decades and governments have gone, but condition of farmers never changed.

And today, the current government came up with three controversial farm bills, which it claims as “historic”. Well, if we have a look at this government’s last big economic decisions, they were also claimed as “historic” ones. However, unwelcomed demonetization, unorganized GST, unexpected coronavirus lockdown and mismanaged financial package have failed the economy enormously. How can farmers, who have endured immense sufferings so far, have trust in this sudden change?

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Farmers protest against farm bills

While the government keep saying, these farm bills are in farmers’ favor, farmers are all baffled at the moment. This is a big change for farmers as they cannot imagine a government thinking of their benefits in this country. And can we expect that a government is thinking about favor of farmers, and farmers are against their own benefits? And these bills are going to change a lot in the field. There must be something big wrong in whatever happening around the politics of the country.

Why is government imposing something on farmers, which even farmers don’t want to have? Is the reason behind is the government’s stubbornness that whatever bill the country and opposition dislike, we will pass it? Or is it all for doing favor to corporate world and big business houses instead of farmers, anyways? Otherwise, who needs these farm bills right now! The country’s economy has dipped the most in South Asia, and its GDP rate is worst among G20 nations.

Farmers’ plight sees no end

When coronavirus death rate in India is also highest among the Asian countries, is there any point in focusing on such controversial bills? There is obviously no point in passing them deliberately, when opposition left the house in protest against it. And who is thinking about the farmers who have been on the roads for months in protest? Farmers of the country had not been able to come out of coronavirus lockdown effects. They had already been facing economic crisis since the imposition of lockdown.

Agriculture sector has got a worst hit during cornavirus pandemic and lockdown measures taken by the government to contain it. Immeasurable quantities of crops could not see markets before they rotted, making life a life as hand to mouth. In consequence of their crops getting no buyers, farmers not only earned meagre to zero, but suffered enormous losses. At the same time, imposing of farm bills has multiplied to their plight, and taken them to roads for a countrywide protest. And their suffering sees no end.

Farm Ordinances 2020

Below are the three farm ordinances, announced in June 2020, and their respective significance as propagated by the government:

  • The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020 – To ease farmers’ access to markets across the country
  • The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 – To help farmers go into contracts to get assured returns
  • The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 – To exempt more farm products from the Essential Commodities Act (EC)

Farm bills protest: Important points

Have a look at important features of farmers’ protest against farm bills 2020 in India:

  • Farmers’ protests against the ordinances began in June many parts of North India, especially Punjab and Haryana.
  • Government kept saying that agricultural reforms would empower farmers of India. Most of the farmers did not agree with the government’s move.
  • Farmers and farm experts say, the bills would allow corporates to have biggest control over farm operations, weakening poor farmers in cases of legal disputes.
  • Experts say MSP and APMC structure would suffer a major hit in presence of corporates, who will assume the greatest control.
  • As the government introduced the ordinances in Parliament and passed via voice vote in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the protest intensified in the country in September.
  • The opposition in both houses vehemently opposed the ordinances, and left the houses. Even a few old allies of the government opposed the ordinances, and quit the government.
  • While, the government kept slamming opposition for misguiding farmers, opposition parties kept supporting farmers’ movement.
  • Farmers massively protested, and have been protesting across the country, with support of renowned farm bodies and activists.

Know more about Indian farm bills and farmers’ protest 2020-2021

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