ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Lessons in Democracy

The government’s retreat on farm laws cannot be seen in isolation from the farmers’ commitment to democracy.

 

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the rollback of the three controversial farm laws on 19 November 2021, the union cabinet in its recently held meeting has cleared the Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 to be introduced in the winter session of Parliament. The Prime Minister’s announcement surprised many, including those in the ruling dispensation, who, otherwise, have been opposing the farmers’ protests, tooth and nail, resorting to abominable name-calling at times. Irrespectively, a rollback is a welcome development following sustained protests that saw more than 700 farmers losing their lives and many others bearing great suffering and peril in the face of a hostile government, inclement weather, and a pandemic.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), responding to the announce­ment in a letter to the Prime Minister, however, has decided to continue their protest until the three laws are actually repealed in Parliament and their other demands met. These include a minimum support price as a legal entitlement based on the M S Swaminathan Commission recommendations (C2 or total cost + 50% margin); withdrawal of the controversial Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021; and removal of penal provisions in the Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act, 2021. Further, they have demanded that the multiple cases against the protesting farmers in different states be withdrawn, while demanding the removal from the union cabinet and arrest of the minister they hold responsible for the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre.

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Updated On : 4th Dec, 2021
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