Farm Bill withdrawal: Its time Modi change his style of functioning and be more inclusive

The time has come for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to become a true democrat in letter and spirit

The time has come for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to become a true democrat in letter and spirit
The time has come for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to become a true democrat in letter and spirit

3 farm bill withdrawn

Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally capitulated on the year-long protest by farmers and withdrew the three contentious farm laws (farm bill). So, what was the last straw that broke the camel’s back? On Friday, November 19, 2021, in an unexpected address to the nation, Modi appeared distressed and not very confident, while saying that he could not convince farmers of the merits and benefits of the three farm laws[1]. In a democracy, it is good to see the administrators listen to the voice of the people. The will of the people, thousands of farmers protesting for more than a year, prevailed and Modi relented and withdrew the three bills.

The Bills were bulldozed through the Parliament

Let us analyze where things went wrong for Modi. There are several, but first, let us look at the way these bills were bulldozed through the two houses, especially in the Upper House, the Rajya Sabha. These three crucial bills were passed as Ordinances in June 2020, when the entire country was in lockdown, and then passed in Parliament stealthily in September 2020. More significantly, there was an intrusion on part of the Centre on what essentially is a state subject, agriculture[2]. With an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha and reasonable clout in the Rajya Sabha, surely these bills could have been debated before being voted on, with inputs from the States? What was the urgency[3]?

Perceptions matter

When people started reading the fine print, they noticed that there was an addition of the trade sector too in these bills. To make matters worse, billions of dollars as Foreign Direct Investment started coming into Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani’s companies engaged in the retail sector[4]. While India was in lockdown in 2020, soon after these controversial laws were passed, these two companies got a bonanza of around 15 billion dollars as foreign investments or in the sale of shares to foreign companies. Even if there was nothing wrong, there was a general feeling that these three laws were meant to benefit Ambani and Adani companies[5]. Witness how Jio towers were attacked, which frankly was wrong on part of the protestors[6]. So was flying a flag of some Sikh group on Republic Day at the Red Fort.

Poll compulsions

By October 2020, farmers from Punjab and Haryana were on the streets and we have seen the mayhem on the 2021 Republic Day celebrations when the agitating farmers created chaos in Red Fort. With Uttar Pradesh and farmers-centric Punjab going to polls in February 2022, this move could be seen as a realization of the ground realities that unless feelings are soothed, the ruling party could be in trouble in terms of getting enough numbers for the Presidential elections, which will follow in June 2022. If the Opposition manages to put their candidate in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, things can get difficult for Modi.

Undo the temple takeover law passed in Uttarakhand

Another similar bulldozed decision by the BJP that needs to be reversed is the law to take over the temples of Uttarakhand. Modi must tell the State BJP Government to repeal this bad law to take over the administration of temples in Uttarakhand. BJP is a national party and cannot argue for freeing the temples from under government control in one state and doing the same themselves in another.

Communicate better

There are lots of perceptions about Modi (right or wrong, only he can clarify), that he is egotistic or suffers from an inferiority complex. He must consult all, at least inside his party before taking a decision. There are a lot of wise men and women in the BJP who will give him excellent counsel. Stop these monologues through TV and Radio and start doing Press Conferences. Encourage Ministers to express free and frank opinions in Cabinet meetings. Shed fear psychosis and the ‘I, Me, Myself’ attitude and be inclusive.

In conclusion, it is time for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to become a true democrat in letter and spirit.

References:

[1] Farm laws: India PM Narendra Modi repeals controversial reformsNov 19, 2021, BBC

[2] Modi govt’s three rushed ordinances can help agriculture, but not farmersJun 10, 2020, The Print

[3] Lok Sabha passes farm bills amid opposition from farmers, political parties; what you should know about legislationsSep 18, 2020, First Post

[4] How Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani were caught in crossfire over farming lawsJan 17, 2021, Business Standard

[5] Why Indian farmers believe new laws are rigged to favour India’s richest manDec 08, 2020, Quartz India

[6] Reinventing ‘Dissent’: Attacks On Jio’s Telecom InfraDec 30, 2020, Swarajya

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An inventor and out-of-the-box thinker, Sree Iyer has 37 patents in the areas of Hardware, Software, Encryption and Systems.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. There may be strategy behind that repeal, at this juncture, can only say, it is a wrong move, will wait for it come in different from & different route. They will lure the farmers with higher rates in corporate sector & later do backdoor manouveres to defeat the middlemen.

  2. PGURUS is a bunch of buffoons. By advising PM Modi to be inclusive they are begging for untrustworthy Swami to be included in the cabinet. Modi has already shown the door to Swami knowing what he had done to ABV.

    • God bless you. You seem to be educated, based in the UK and I would assume that you are capable of reasoning. No one is clamoring for anything – as a matter of fact, even if offered a ministry, Dr. Swamy may not accept. Read the post carefully – the concerns are spelled out.

  3. Sree Iyer Ji, farm laws written by Adani’s chums “pro- Adani Farm Laws” were just repealed because they were not discussed but bulldozed for him in RS via illegal “voice vote” on such a vital Bill impacting 80% if the population. It was reported that Adani built several big warehouses to stock agri products.

    RSS lead BJP graph is falling since covid second wave, daily hiking of fuel prices even hurt BJP and RSS solid supporters. In fact BJPs core vote bank lower and middle class took maximum hit due to mis-management of economy, inflation and fuel cost. No stimulus and women folks qued-up in front of brokerage/ Pawn shops to sell or take loans to run the family!! Where is the so called RSS numbering one crores sevaks? Where is the chaiwala existence of PM?

    This episode tell us that MIDDLEMEN WON POOR FARMERS LOST!
    The devil is in the MSP and procurement guarantee under MSP shall become an albatross and tax payers shall have to fork-out and further protestors will demand repealing water and electricity reforms also!!

    Since May 2014 RSS,VHP, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, etc were silent due to PM and HMs egoism and arrogance. Lower and middle started to think that corrupt Congress-I and Communist were better than so called Modi-Shah since day one hitting below the belt of everyone/ its own core vote bank while corrupt crooks have been left off while drug mafia are out on bails. Snatching credits has become a forte for PM at the backdrop of Purvanchal expressway inauguration— where was Nitin Gadkari but FM and insulted UP CM was present?

    Silencing elders in BJP/sending them to retiring margadarshak mandal is costing BJP dearly.
    PM does not hold press conferences is appalling! Novice late PM Rajiv was better!

    Uniting Hindu vote bank is next to impossible under PM-HM because RSS itself has few groups within and hating elders culture!!!

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