What you need to know about India's Farmers Protest
Farmers protest at Delhi-Haryana state borderSajjad HUSSAIN / AFP

What you need to know about India's Farmers Protest

The latest farm laws were passed by the Rajya Sabha, on September 20th.

Its been over half a month farmers have been protesting in the national capital. Many meetings have also taken place over the due course of time between the farmer leaders and the government officials. But both the sides haven't yet come to a common ground to resolve the issue.

The latest farm laws were passed by the Rajya Sabha, on September 20th. The new farm laws, that were supposed' to bring relief to the poor farmers, have seen a major backlash. Is it that farmers are not able to understand how they will benefit from the new laws or is the centre really helping Ambani's and the Adani's with the new farm laws.

Following are the three new farm laws -

  1. The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020

  2. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and

  3. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

These are the three farm laws which have been the centre of attention for quite some time now. Neither the government nor the farmers are ready to negotiate. Farmer leaders have clearly stated that they want the centre to repeal all the three farm laws. On the other hand, the government has been trying their best to negotiate as much as possible, but both haven't reached a conclusion yet.

According to the government, the following are the benefits that the farmers will get with the new law in place -

  1. A new option is offered to farmers, as now they have the freedom to sell their goods outside the APMC limits and there will be no taxes on such trade, which will help the farmers get a better price for their crop.

  2. Farmers are now allowed to sell their products anywhere in the country, there will be no restrictions put by the government on this.

  3. No licence will be required for traders outside the APMC to procure agricultural products from farmers. Anyone who has a PAN card or any other document that notified by the Central government can also enter into trade with farmers. This will encourage the exchange in agricultural products, hence benefitting the farmers.

  4. In case any farmers get into a dispute with any trader, the issue will be resolved by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate within 30 days. Apart from this, there will be a heavy penalty for the violators who try to cheat the farmers by any means.

Following are the drawbacks as per the farmers -

  1. Farmers fear that the Mandi's that are currently operating under the APMC law will be eliminated, leaving them with no security of MSP.

  2. Farmers have been already selling the products in various states, and the new law is to only benefit the big corporates

  3. Farmers will be more prone to frauds as anyone with a valid government ID will be able to trade with them.

In the quest to find a middle ground to all the problems, farmers have been facing many difficulties in the national capital. For that matter, in the starting phase of the protest, Delhi police requested the Delhi government to convert stadiums into temporary jails. But the Delhi government turned down their request.

Farmers have been protesting in the frosty weather of Delhi. Over 40 farmers have already lost their lives, out of which around 26 of them died after the Delhi challo march began on 26th November.

The farmer's protest is just not limited to the national capital. Indians who are residing outside India have also raised their concern about the new farm laws and are in full support of the ongoing protest.

Why only farmers from the North protesting?

It is because the farmers in other states hardly benefit from the MSP procurement systems introduced by the government. This is the main concern of the farmers from Haryana and Punjab because they benefit the most from these schemes and with the introduction of the new farm laws, they fear that they will stop getting the limited benefits that they get out of the current system.

On this Diljit Dosanjh in his witty tweet said, "Farmers consuming poison wasn't a concern but eating pizza is news!".

https://twitter.com/diljitdosanjh/status/1338346217781116929/photo/1

Not only Diljit, but many B-town celebrities have also shown their support for the farmer's protest.In the latest tweet by Sashi Tharoor, he says, "First you pass laws without consulting them. Then You ignore their protests. Then you demonise them as Khalistanis, Pakistanis & Naxals. Finally you say you are prepared to talk. But are you prepared to listen? #KisanDiwas"

In the latest tweet by Sashi Tharoor, he says, "First you pass laws without consulting them. Then You ignore their protests. Then you demonise them as Khalistanis, Pakistanis & Naxals. Finally you say you are prepared to talk. But are you prepared to listen? #KisanDiwas"

BJP unit in Uttar Pradesh will begin a door to door campaign to educate people about the policies of the Center, under the new agricultural legislation. The staff will present the letter by Minister of Agriculture, Narendra Singh Tomar, concerning new agricultural laws and will publicise the policies of the government.

The agrarian crisis has been there in our country for a very long time. Dr Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister, in 2004, also formed a special committee called National Commission on Farmers which was chaired by Prof. M. S. Swaminathan. The commission was formed to learn about the problems face by our farmers and how the government can help them. The committee submitted five reports in the tenure of two years and the fifth report talked about the problems and the solution in detail. Swaminathan report to date is considered to be the most accurate report on farmers. Here's the fifth report by the National Commission on Farmers.

Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, submitted a memorandum containing 2 crore signatures seeking Presidents intervention in new farm laws issue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a further effort to resolve the issue, will connect with farmers from six States on 25 December.

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