The farmers’ protest against agricultural laws 2020 is an active protest against the three farm acts legislated by the Parliament of India in September 2020.
INDIAN FARM REFORMS-
The Indian Farm Reforms of 2020 point to three agricultural bills passed by the Parliament of India on 27 September 2020. The bills collectively intend to sustain farmers with multifarious marketing channels and indulge in a legal framework for farmers to pursue pre-arranged contracts among other things.
The three agricultural laws passed by the Parliament of India are as follows- Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, which came into effect prior to the consent of President of India- Ram Nath Kovind. The farmer’s protest is against these three agricultural laws.
Various major farmer unions have termed the three acts as “anti-farmer laws”.Hence, farmers are protesting against the Agricultural Laws of 2020. Some politicians from the opposition also suggest that if the center executes or employs the acts, it would leave the farmers at the “mercy of corporates”. The government, on the other hand, promises that they will make it easier for farmers to sell their produce directly to extravagant buyers without any trouble.
IMPACT OF INDIAN FARM REFORMS–
The farmer unions started organizing local protests, especially in Punjab soon after the acts legislated. After two long months of protests, farmers from Rajasthan and Haryana initiated a movement named “Dilli Chalo” in which thousands of farmers strode towards the nation’s capital- Delhi. Police and law enforcement retaliated against the farmers with water cannons and tear gas to prevent them from penetrating Delhi.
On 26 November 2020, a national strike that expectedly included approximately 250 million people took place in aid of the farmers according to the trade unions that organized the protests.
On 30 November 2020, reports suggested that between 200,000 and 300,000 farmers were concentrating at several border points on the way to Delhi to protest against the farm bills.
Over 400 farmer unions have been protesting against these farm acts that according to them would be unsuitable for them. Transport unions representing over 13 million truck drivers have been uplifting the helpless farmers, menacing to restrict the movement of supplies in certain states.
After the government refused to accept the farmers’ demands during talks on 4 December, the farmers intended to intensify the action to another India-wide strike on 8 December 2020.
Apart from having support from the Transport Unions, Aligarh Muslim University students on 15th December 2020 spurred President Ram Nath Kovind to intrude in the farm laws issue and commanded that the Center should withdraw the legislation.
The students of AMU exhibited a protest and expressed their full support to farmers who are giving their all to battle against the laws at various Delhi border points since the last week of November.
AMU students also arranged a candlelight march and handed over a notice to senior university officials, directing to the President, asking for an immediate withdrawal of the farm laws and CAA.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE FARMER’S PROTEST 2020–
Reports suggest that the farmers are strengthening their position and attitude on the three new agricultural laws. On 15th December 2020, farmer leaders said they will “make” the government revoke these legislations, and affirmed that their courage has reached a stage where they are “determined” to win it no matter what.
They said they will effectively block the Chilla Border between Delhi and Noida on 16th December 2020 to urge for their demands.
Addressing a press conference at Singhu Border, farmer leader Jagjeet Dallewal said, “The government is saying ”we won’t repeal these laws”, we are saying we will make you do it.” He warned that the conflict has reached a platform where we are stubborn to win no matter what.
Concerning the recent developments of protest, BJP chief JP Nadda, claims that the farmer’s interest is always the top priority for the Narendra Modi government even after the unrest against the agricultural laws continued for almost 20 days.
A priest from Haryana’s Karnal died by suicide at the Singhu border in Delhi on the 16th of December 2020 while protesting against the agricultural laws.
In a handwritten note found near his body, the priest said he was devoting and sacrificing his life only to manifest anger and pain against the government’s wrong decisions.
The angry farmers incessantly try to prove their point by protesting. The farmer unions said that forming a new panel to demolish the stalemate on the three new agricultural laws, as indicated by the Supreme Court, is not a solution as they want a comprehensive removal of the legislation. The farmer unions and their supporters stand clear and firm in their position and attitude when they express that no panel can resolve the political unrest and deadlock until and unless the center withdraws the laws completely.
REACTION OF THE GOVERNMENT ON FARMER’S PROTEST 2020–
According to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, The ongoing farmers’ protest at Delhi borders is an “exception” and “limited to one state”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to show his support and concern for the three contentious farm laws and blamed the Opposition parties for misrepresenting the protesting farmers.
Modi’s comments came as the protesting farmers camped out near Delhi for the 20th straight day on the 15th of December 2020. Meanwhile, the distressed farmers remain hell-bent on the demand that the Centre must revoke the three laws.
The government, on the other hand, has time and again made it clear that their intentions are not to revoke the farm laws completely. However, the government is ready to make amendments and make negotiations.
But the million-dollar question is who will win?
The Centre or the Farmers?