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

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The Political Economy of Plant Biotechnology

Farmers in developing countries have little voice in infl uencing agricultural research. However, they are not without political infl uence. The tension between these understandings is examined by investigating the importance of farmers in the political economy of genetically modifi ed crop approvals in India. The evidence shows that while farmers may not be important in shaping policy, they have the clout to defeat it.

Political and Electoral Dynamics in Punjab

Given the political churning taking place in Punjab, the electoral scene may remain quite fl uid until the votes are counted and perhaps even after the results are declared. Nevertheless, the current elections refl ect a clear decline of the earlier hegemonies, particularly of the landed aristocracy of the region, which has controlled state politics over the past fi ve decades or so.

Political Churning in Punjab before the Elections

The assembly elections are going to be held in Punjab in February 2022. All political parties are gearing up for it. The Congress party is facing internal conflicts, whereas the Akalis are making a new alliance with Bahujan Samaj Party after breaking their alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party due to the farmers’ agitation. The incumbent Congress government has failed to deliver in terms of its promises and development. Both the Akalis and the Congress will be heavily relying on their mass base. However, a big challenge has emerged in the form of the farmers’ agitation. The Aam Aadmi Party is still struggling with its agenda and organisational basis despite being the main opposition party. The standard parameters of prediction of an election result seem to be non-functional at this moment.

Repeal of the ‘Black Farm Laws’

Tracing the trajectory of the farmers’ movement against the farm laws, this article commends the victory of the farmers with the repeal of the black laws while also reflecting on the struggles that lie ahead.

The Ordinance Raj

The frequent promulgation of ordinances is detrimental for a constitutional democracy.

Foodstuffs Market Regulation

Despite several objections, the three farm laws, including the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, were enacted with full force by the union government. However, after more than a year of the farmers’ agitation, the government decided to withdraw these laws. The amended ECA had some contradictory provisions and, in sum, limited the scope for regulation by local/state/union governments. The present article discusses the provisions of the amended ECA and its impact on the scope for regulation of the foodstuffs market.

Indian Agriculture Over Time

Political Economy of Agricultural Development in India: Policies, Achievements and Concerns by Akina Venkateswarlu, Delhi: Aakar Books, 2021; pp xvii + 554, ₹1,695.

Lessons in Democracy

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

Farmers’ Solidarity in the Wake of UP Elections

Recognising social and political fissures amidst a call for unity is essential.

Development and the Farmer

The consensus against the farmers’ struggle grants them the space to have doubts and apprehensions, but no civic or intellectual agency to seriously question the legitimacy and reliability of the vision of the future embedded in the new laws.

Farm Reforms, Protests and By-election in Haryana

The central agricultural reforms have emerged as a new factor that played a vital role in the recently held by-election in a Haryana assembly constituency. Due to opposition from farmers and political parties to the so-called new farm reforms, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and Jannayak Janta Party coalition has remarkably lost its vote share and an opportunity to win a rural constituency by-election. The Indian National Congress has become a major beneficiary of opposition to central new farm legislation in Haryana.

Farmers' Protest: A Roadmap for the Opposition

The ongoing farmers’ movement in India is proving to be path-breaking in more ways than one. It has unambiguously challenged the political economy of the present Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh–Bharatiya Janata Party regime and has to a limited extent, broken the control of the RSS ecosystem on the political narrative of the country. It has also followed the path of earlier movements such as the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests, to present an antithesis to the ideological hegemony of the current ruling arrangement. Though this agitation has had its limitations like earlier protests, it has given hope to the strata of society opposed to the rechristening of Indian nationhood and political system.

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