Farmers Reject Government Proposals: Protests to Intensify

On December 9, the farmer leaders rejected the draft proposal by the Union Government which was to amend the contentious farm laws and further pressed onto their demands and announced to intensify their agitation with a nationwide protest on December 14.

Farmer’s calls the draft an insult:

They have also announced that they would ‘choke’ the National Capital by December 12. This will be carried out by systematically blocking the Jaipur-Delhi and Delhi-Agra Expressways along with the other roads that lead to Delhi. 

The farmers labelled the proposal by the government as an ‘insult’ to the country’s farmers. They have claimed to be open to government’s next fresh proposal of talks and have said to be considerate about the same.

Government’s draft:

In a draft proposition sent to the 13 farmer union whose delegates Home Minister Amit Shah had met late on Tuesday, the government proposed to give a “written affirmation” that the minimum support price (MSP) system for obtainment will proceed. It offered to make vital changes on at least seven issues.

In the proposal, sent by Agriculture Ministry Joint Secretary Vivek Aggarwal, the government said it was ready to consider with an open heart the objections raised on the farm laws.

Farmer’s reactions:

Addressing the media later, farmer leaders, including Jangvir Singh Doaba, Rakesh Tikait, Shiv Kumar Kakka, Darshan Pal Singh and Dr Ashok Dhavle, said there was nothing new in the proposal and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had offered the same to them at earlier meetings.

It was “totally dismissed” by the ‘Sanyukta Kisan Committee’ (joined discussion of ranchers), a body speaking to different farmers’ associations, they said. Doaba said the Jaipur-Delhi and the Delhi-Agra expressways would be sealed to “stifle” the Capital. The cross country protest on December 14 would be coordinated at the area level, he said. “The farmers will gherao BJP pioneers and the gathering’s workplaces,” he said.

Kakka said they had informed Shah about their “deadline” to repeal the three “black” laws and for a legal guarantee on the MSP. The unions have also decided to boycott the products of individual corporate houses whom they feared the Centre wanted to benefit through the farm laws.

Is farmers protest becoming a new CAA? 

Many have tried to connect this with the CAA protests that occurred last year in December. The two issues are different, but the unity seen in the two is similar. Right Wing is guilty of calling names to the protests that take shape in the country.

Last year young students who were protesting against CAA/NRC were called Jihadis, Pakistanis and anti-nationals. Now, since the majority of farmers protesting hail from the states of Punjab and Harayana, they are labelled as Khalistanis by right Wing. The Centre has to be more diligent towards the protests rather than being defensive.

The on-going protests show the strength of democracy India holds. Criticism and resistance are always accepted in Indian land; however, if the resistance goes beyond the boundary of law and order, it is detrimental to India as a whole. Excessive misused terms for protestors in a democratic country can cause further uproar. Thus, we, as a citizen, should remember to practice our rights within the purview of law and resist the polices most peacefully to set an example of a functioning democracy. The farmers are all ready to stick around for a while unless and until the governments hears them out.   

Nawaal Arshad

A girl with aspirations and desires skyrocketing yet likes to keep it lowkey—also a political enthusiast with the zest of bringing a change. I always like to be indulged in good conversations with a hot cup of coffee. I am an avid reader with a habit of binge-watching movies and shows.

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