The world’s largest democracy, India, has been witness to one of the most monumental mass protests since its independence, the Farmers’ Protest. Simply put, the protest fundamentally stands against the Farm Laws, which were enacted by the Indian government. These laws are listed below:
- Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act
- Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act
- Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
The stand-off between the Indian government and protesting farmers does not show any signs of resolution at the moment. There is no sign of abatement of the farmers agitation, as it demands complete abolishment of the laws. The agitation has multiplied and diversified manifolds, as it is now branching out to other parts of the country, including the poll bound states such as West Bengal. These upcoming state elections are seen as a fierce battleground for the current ruling regime to show its strength. In other words, the outcome of the polls will indirectly indicate the view point or support of the commoners towards the farm laws.
At this point, the pertinent question that needs to be asked is, what does the future hold? More than 119 days have passed, over 200 farmers have lost their lives, but the discussions between the Kisan Union leaders and the government seem to have hit a standstill. While kisan leaders take part in magnanimous mahapanchayat, many are also rallying in the poll bound states to urge people to vote against the ruling government. As the days pass protestors have withstood the chilling winters, rain, and now scorching heat. The fight has been a long one, will it continue or will the government be forced to meet the demands of the protesters to put an end to this deadlock? Although the government has offered to stay the laws, the farming bodies have consistently rejected it, indicating the former’s unwillingness to negotiate. This has left a void for the government to fill. This void can only be filled by repealing these farm laws, and creating an open dialogue with all the stakeholders before introducing any new ideas.
Image courtesy of Sajjad Hussain / AFP – Getty Images