3 Farm Laws in India

Peasant leader and leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, Rakesh Tikait, were the biggest faces of the ongoing movement against agrarian laws. Attempts were made to take administrative action against the peasants who were agitating under the leadership of Rakesh Tikait on the border from Ghazipur to Delhi, but Rakesh Tikait did not move with his intentions and during this time photos and videos of “tears” appeared in his eyes in the media. And this gave this peasant movement a new “advantage”. [74] [75] Their claims were fivefold. Firstly, the setting of the minimum support price (MEP) for agricultural products by a committee of stakeholders, including farmers` representatives. Secondly, the withdrawal of police cases registered in several places and in several states against agitating farmers. Thirdly, compensation for the farmer for his losses during the period of agitation. Fourthly, farmers` electricity bills. And fifth, the law on the burning of stubble, which caused air pollution, where the government agreed to exempt farmers from criminal liability in the law. The general message of protest from farmers to the government is that simply repealing agrarian laws will not be enough unless the deep-rooted agrarian crisis focused on predictive and rewarding prices is addressed and a decent standard of living for farmers is ensured.

For the peasants, history will decide whether or not this peasant struggle of the time will bring the desired result. It will also depend on how agricultural leaders think and act at such a crucial time in Indian politics. Kaushik Basu, a former chief economist at the World Bank, called the new farm bills “flawed” and “harmful to farmers.” [51] In February 2021, 413 academics from across India and several foreign universities said in a statement that the new Farm Bills posed a major threat to Indian farming communities and called on the government to abandon them. The signatories of the declaration came from Jawaharlal Nehru University, IIT Kanpur, IIT Madras, IISc Bangalore, Indian Institute of Statistics, Calcutta, Indian Institute of Statistics, Kolkata, University of Delhi, Punjab University, IIT Bombay, IIM Kolkata, London Film School, University of Johannesburg, University of Oslo, from the University of Massachusetts, the University of Pittsburgh and others. [52] But when NPR came to visit this week, the Ghazipur camp had emptied. Only a few hundred farmers remained. They are holding meetings there this weekend to plan their next steps. The protests continue as farmers say they have a list of other demands that have not been met, including the legal right to a minimum support price for their entire harvest and more government support. The MSP`s commitment proved to be the main sticking point of the farmers` protest. Farmers were concerned that allowing trade in agricultural products outside the APMC would lead to a decline in purchases by government agencies in the approved Mandis.

The Prime Minister`s recent announcement that the Union government would try to pass the three agricultural laws during the winter session of Parliament has provoked mixed reactions. On November 29, the first day in parliament, the law repealing agricultural laws in the Lok Sabha was passed without discussion. These laws are the Agricultural Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Price Insurance and Agricultural Services Agreement (Empowerment and Protection) Act, 2020 and the Essential Products (ECA) Amendment Act, 2020. Regardless of how this concrete measure is perceived and the motivations attributed to it, the ongoing farmers` protests and the current impasse offer a rare instructive moment for Indian agricultural policy-making. “All over the world, democratic governance is collapsing. Nevertheless, we still have a glimmer of hope,” says Patkar. “Capitalist forces are being challenged, and this challenge in India comes from our peasants and workers. In addition, the farmers were not satisfied with the provisions of section 8 of the Act, which provided that a farmer and a trader could contact the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) to reach a solution by arbitration. They raised a problem because they are not powerful enough to have access to swIn offices for dispute resolution procedures.

The case was taken to court and the Supreme Court suspended the implementation of the three agricultural laws on 12 January pending further orders. The solution to the many problems of Indian agriculture and Indian farmers would never be solved by the three agricultural laws, not even in the field of marketing. Even the repeal of these three laws will not reverse or slow the rapid growth of private actors in agricultural marketing over the past two decades, as shown by the 2019 assessment of the situation of farm households in India. READ ALSO: We couldn`t convince farmers: Yogi Adityanath hails Prime Minister Modi`s decision to repeal agricultural laws Modi`s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had insisted that the reforms would modernise India`s agrarian system.