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Does Critique Create Illusion?

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Three bills on Indian agriculture have recently been passed in Parliament, though amidst the relentless protests by the farmers and the opposition parties. The grounds on which the bills received criticism and scepticism are far from being tenuous. The farmers’ critique is more realistic than idealistic; idealism of freedom and empowerment that is claimed to be the core intention of the bills. The government and its spokespersons, including some of the known agricultural economists, do not directly criticise the protesting farmers but they are quite vocal and categorical in criticising the opposition parties for critiquing the bills. The usual accusation that the opposition is misguiding the farmers by spreading misinformation about the bill has been the easily available resource that the defenders of the bill seem to be using in order to avoid public discussion based on robust arguments and not tenuous ones. Thus, those in favour, however, have chosen to blemish the protesting farmers indirectly, by reducing the latter to passive objects of easy manipulation at the hands of opposition parties. According to media reports, the spokesperson of the government seems to be further accusing the opposition responsible for creating an illusion among the farmers. The critique of opposition parties, according to the spokesperson, smacks of illusion. Meanwhile, the economists chose to blame the politics of using misinformation. The economists, thereby, suggest that the bill will communicate truth to the farmers. The template of freedom and empowerment of farmers are supposed to encapsulate the official idea of truth.

The templates of the bills that the government and its neo-liberal economists are busy brandishing to the public have, however, to be judged not on the basis of hypothetical premises but on the basis of the concrete conditions that have a definite bearing on the realisation of freedom and empowerment of farmers. Because, in the actual sense, for the exercise of freedom, one requires favourable material conditions at one’s disposal. These conditions are an efficient transport system, cold storage facilities and sophisticated harvesting technology. These conditions are available only to those farmers who are relatively in a better position to use these to their advantage. However, the number of such farmers is so limited.

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Updated On : 28th Sep, 2020

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