Govt should know, without MSP it will be difficult for their leaders after 26 January to keep agitating farmers contained. By Hem Raj Jain
18 Jan 2021
The two most important developments have taken place in the last one week in the Supreme Court of India (SCI) which have changed the entire complexion of the agitation by the farmers (who in hundred of thousand have encircled India’s capital Delhi since November 26, 2020 and some farmers who are agitating in other parts of India too). The first is about constituting a Committee on January 12 by the SCI which will hear the farmers, the Government of India (GoI) and other stakeholders about 3 farm-laws which are at the core of this farmer’s agitation. The second is on January 18 when the SCI told the GoI that the Court will not intervene in the law & order matter of allowing tractor parade by farmers on Republic Day (January 26) and the Delhi Police should decide about giving permission for this tractor rally. The GoI seems to be unaware of the serious implications of said two developments in the SCI and may face a serious situation (as mentioned below) if the issue of the ‘Minimum Support Price’ (MSP) is not addressed by the GoI, without any further delay:-
(1)- Whether it is true or not (as alleged by farmers and others) that the GoI has handled the matter of farm-laws intelligently & cunningly with the result the GoI order for Committee has come. But one thing is sure that the issue of farm-laws have now gone into cold storage at least for two months (may be more if the SCI extends the tenure of this Committee, as per requirement). The mandatory nature of this order by using the word ‘SHALL’ in its order (i)- about participation of farmers and other stakeholders in the deliberations of this Committee and (ii)- about hearing by the committee from farmers and all other stakeholders -- (as mentioned at https://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/opinion-details/3746 ) will see to it that these 3 farm -laws in their present form become irrelevant.
(2)- As a consequence of this Committee, now onwards, the talks between the GoI and the leaders of the farmers are meaningless but it will not weaken the farmer’s agitation because the demand by farmers of repeal of these farm-laws was only for the purpose of avoiding any talk about these farm-law (regarding any modification in these laws). In reality the farmers are interested mainly in the legally enforceable MSP all across India.
(3)- No doubt the farmers from other parts of India are not so much agitated (as the farmers mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh who along with some farmers of other States, have encircled Delhi by Dharna / sit-in) that is why they are not in Dharna in their areas at Tehsil-Taluka / District / State headquarters but that does not mean that they have interest in the agitation of the farmers who have encircled Delhi because the farmers all across India want legally enforceable MSP.
(4)- The legally enforceable MSP can not be given either by the SCI or by Parliament as it will involve a huge financial burden. Though it can be met by recovering huge State-capital as mentioned in said PCP article 3746 but the government does not seem to be interested in it. Hence farmers all over India know that government will give legally enforceable MSP only by political pressure (an euphemism for violent agitation) by the farmers who have encircle Delhi
(5)- The leaders of these Delhi encircling farmers so far have been able to contain the agitating farmers by saying that they would enter Delhi with hundreds of thousand of tractors where they may even face water cannons, Lathis (battens) and even bullets. This gave a satisfaction to the agitating farmers that the result is going to come soon through precipitate action of said massive tractor rally.
(6)- The Delhi police already knew its powers about law & order but it wanted the support of the SCI which it got on January 18. Now with the stand of the SCI that the Delhi Police can decide on the matter of permission to this tractor rally, any chance of such a massive tractor rally is simply out of question. Maximum, the Delhi police under its escort may allow some tractors (may be 100 or so) on the outer ring road of Delhi on Republic Day. This will prick the hugely inflated balloon of massive-tractor-rally.
(7)- But this has created a serious problem for the leaders of the agitating farmers which is how to keep the agitating farmers, in Dharna around Delhi, PEACEFULLY. That is the reason a prominent leader of the farmer, Tikait (who was making maximum noise about massive rally of hundreds of thousand of tractors on Republic day) has started telling the farmers that they may have to sit-in for a much longer time (as reported at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgEjO321hKU )
(8)- But agitating farmers, after 26 January, will not remain peaceful. Though the GoI (through its Intelligence Agencies) have already started (as alleged by agitating farmers) demoralizing / harassing the people who have been providing financial and other resources to these agitating farmers (even by money from foreign countries including from Khalistan supporters, as alleged by the GoI). But it will have a contrary effect than desired by the GoI. It will make the agitating farmers desperate and will constrain them to take precipitate action by giving up peaceful protest especially for achieving the objective of the legally enforceable MSP (because this only will get sympathy of the farmers from all across India and not the repeal of 3 farm-laws which have already become irrelevant due to said SCI-Committee).
Therefore the GoI (which hopefully is not convinced about the public statements / promises of the leaders of the farmers, who have encircled Delhi, about keeping their Dharna peaceful for any length of time) should be prepared for a precipitate action (for achieving legally enforceable MSP) after January 26 as all the hopes for precipitate action (through massive-tractor-rally) has been frustrated (by the GoI through the SCI) of these agitating farmers (including and especially from Punjab who are having 32 member in the 40 member team of the farmers and who have talked 9 times with the GoI and who are getting, as per the GoI, money also from the foreign countries).