• Amrita Mohanty

The Farm Laws façade


After the endless protests regarding the farm laws, it is finally stayed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court. This order was passed on the 12th of January by a 3- judge bench which included the Hon’ble Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna, and V Ramasubramaniam. It is believed that the stay is to cool d

own the protests and calm down the uproar. This has been done with the hope to see the farmers stepping back to their everyday lives from the unraveling protests.


This is not the only thing that was decided in the order. It was added by the judges that a 4- the membered committee is directed to be formed. This committee shall constitute agricultural experts who will be the communicating link between the Central Government and the farmers. The main objective of this committee shall be to hear the grievances of the farmers relating to the farm bill. After listening to both sides i.e. the Central Government as well as that of the representatives of the farmers, the Committee shall suggest its recommendations to the Court through a report.


The composition of the committee has already been finalized by the Court. It consists of:


  1. Bhupendra Singh Mann, National President, BKU, AIKCC.

  2. Dr. Pramod Kumar Joshi, Agricultural Economist, DSA, IFPRI.

  3. Ashok Gulati, Agricultural Economist and Former Chairman of CACP.

  4. Anil Ghanwat, President, Shetkari Sanghatana.


This committee is suggested to decide within 2 months from the date of its 1st sitting which is supposed to be held in 10 days from the 12th of January.


This committee shall be situated and working from Delhi and its expenses shall be borne by the Government. The Government is also supposed to provide the committee with secretarial assistance. The representatives of the farmer bodies participating in the deliberation shall be allowed to put forth their viewpoints irrespective of their protest, support, or oppose for the laws.


Now, coming to the most confusing part i.e. a committee constituting of members who are unanimously in support of the farm laws. We all know that it is no crime, but, it might not be fruitful to negotiate with such open support with those representatives who have no support for the laws at all. There should be at least a single member who is unbiased and would have aimed to negotiate on the basis of the welfare of the nation in totality.


This composition, however, may not be harmful but might create a wrong notion in the minds of the protesting or opposing representatives and farmers; which has already become the present outcome by the 12th of January. The farmer unions have already given a joint statement stating that talking to the committee shall be fruitless; seeing the attitude and opinions of the committee members. They have even admitted that the approach of the government makes it clear that the repealing of the three farm laws seems unagreeable.

So, the final press note given by the farmer’s representative as of 14th January states that they won’t be accepting any committee framed by the Supreme Court for mediation. The agitating farmers have stayed firm in their stance about the continuance of the protests/ agitation and have blatantly denied appearing before any such committee.


Apart from all this, there is another angle to this story that is often being ignored. There are still people in this nation who believe that the novel coronavirus is party politics and a part being played by the government; so why not consider the reality of the farmer’s protest i.e. being influenced by political propaganda. So, in order to look at the political influence on the farmer’s protests, we need to consider the purview provided by the BCI Chairman, Manan Kumar Mishra. This might be the most important part of the whole facade. According to his observation, 90% of the peace-loving farmers are not in favor of the continuance of the agitation after the stay order, but persons with vested interests are trying to fulfill their own political ambition even at the cost of destabilizing the nation. The three farm laws implementation is a historic step taken by the Supreme Court according to him and the farmers should therefore suspend their agitation. He has also stated that the irresponsible comments against the Supreme Court by some politicians for serving their vested interests regarding this particular matter shall weaken the institutions and the nation. He has even urged all the citizens to break their silence and save the country.


Now, at this point, this is no more about taking sides or deciding which side is the right side. This is the time when all the citizens are supposed to be aware of the laws of the land along with that of the farm laws and understand the farm laws at an interpretational level.


Even if it is undeniable to ignore the fact that the farmer union members have put forward their clear intention and desire for the repealing of the three farm laws by any talks of negotiation regarding the same. They have also stated by themselves that talking to the committee shall be fruitless proving their intention of repealing the laws as the ultimatum. This also shows their disinterest to have any chance of inclination towards consideration for the modification or even the mere existence of these laws which were aimed for the welfare of the nation’s agricultural sector.


Thereby, this fruitless agitation i.e. achieving no results and only creating a facade during the pandemic in the nation should be stopped. On top of that, it has been thoroughly observed that there is a lot of political indulgence in the said issue; so much so that the farmers are barely speaking their own words. So, it would be in the betterment of the whole nation that this facade stops and does not create anymore ruckus in the name of support for helpless farmers, who are clearly having no interest in the negotiation.


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