Tractor rally allowed at three different protest points in the Delhi borders
The Narendra Modi Government again budged to protesting farmers by allowing them to conduct Tractor Rally on January 26, the Republic Day. Today Delhi Police under the “powerful” Union Home Minister Amit Shah simply agreed to farmers’ unions in allowing a rally of tractors from three different protest points in the Delhi borders. This showdown came days after Delhi Police which in an unprecedented way filed a petition in Supreme Court to ban the tractor rally citing all sort of charges including penetration of anti-national Khalistani elements. The apex court has rightly dismissed the petition asking Delhi Police under Amit Shah to make decisions, rather than seeking court’s approval. These things clearly show that Narendra Modi Government is indecisive. Clearly, this shows that there are no consultations or brainstorming happening in the ruling party BJP, except between the top two leaders (Modi-Shah) who seem to live in their own world.
The previous week, many expressed shock when the government offered to suspend the three controversial farm laws to put on hold for 18 months. But farmers’ unions rejected this magnanimous offer too and stuck to their stand of repealing the laws. Repealing the laws means, the government has to inform Parliament that they are withdrawing the laws, which is such a pathetic situation for ruling BJP, which came to power with 303 MPs in Lok Sabha in May 2019 elections and having enough manageable majorities in Rajya Sabha. Frankly, BJP is a loser in these farm bills, as they lost their decades-long-ally, the Akali Dal.
The chaos in Rajya Sabha is a black chapter in Indian democracy. And within two months, the biggest beneficiary of these three Acts, tycoon Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail managed to make more than Rs.41,000 crores by selling just 10% of their shares to foreign investors.
Administrative Style is flawed
There is a problem in Modi’s style of administration. Former President late Pranab Mukherjee in his recent book says he advised Prime Minister Modi to consult with all, including people in the opposition. Sadly, Modi’s opposition parleys were only limited to talking with the cunning Sharad Pawar and we have seen how he “flipped the bird” to Modi in the Maharashtra Government formation. To add insult to injury, Modi even gave Pawar the Padma Vibhushan award, calling into question the sanctity of these awards. In the long run, BJP lost another trusted ally, Shiv Sena. Coming back to farm laws – What was the urgency in bringing these laws as Ordinance in June 2020, when the entire country was in lockdown? Modi and his people and their social media wing thought people will believe the monotonous talks and slide shows?
Intent good but…
The way such important landmark bills were bulldozed through Parliament was not good for democracy. The Bills passed in September session (during the pandemic time) without sending to Standing Committee, where at least threadbare discussions would have happened. The chaos in Rajya Sabha is a black chapter in Indian democracy. And within two months, the biggest beneficiary of these three Acts, tycoon Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail managed to make more than Rs.41,000 crores by selling just 10% of their shares to foreign investors. Now all such gaga-gaga on foreign fund flow is gone in the intense fiery fight put up by the farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh by blocking the Delhi borders for the past 60 days in these biting cold winter months.
When even Supreme Court messaged…
Even the Supreme Court tried to patch up this fiasco. It stepped in, in an unprecedented manner by suspending the laws. The message was clear – Time to change your style of functioning. It is now time for introspection for this government, to engage and brainstorm. Social media cells can’t help. They are just paid managers to create public relation exercises, make noises, and/ or abuses. But farmers have proved them wrong through their resolute protest by braving the chilling winter. Now they demand nothing but a total repeal of the laws. Is it time for a better approach, with an open mind to bring new laws meant for agrarian reforms by consulting every stakeholder and allowing the Bill to pass through all procedures of Parliament? It must be borne in mind that Agriculture is a state subject and the Center must consult with the state governments.
 Modi Government budges, agrees to put on hold the controversial farm laws for 18 months – Jan 20, 2021, PGurus.com
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