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Monday, January 18, 2021

Farmers’ unity breaking? Growers’ unions accept govt law amid protests

Is it farmers vs farmers? On the 19th day of the burning protests, 10 farmers' unions from seven states have accepted the Centre's stand. Will the farmers' protest continue after this? Read on the full article.

Is it farmers vs farmers? Has the farmers’ unity broken after days of relentless agitation? The latest development hints such. On the 19th day of the burning protests, 10 farmers’ unions from seven states have accepted the Centre’s stand. These groups of farmers have supported the Centre’s decision to undertake necessary amendments in the three contentious farm laws.

Farmers vs farmers? Unity breaks as growers accept govt law amid protests

1. Farmers’ groups agree with Modi govt’s stand

A section of farmers has finally agreed with the government on Monday. The earlier rigid stand of them has altered. Is it a break in the farmers’ unity? Well, as per latest reports, the group of farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Maharashtra have accepted the Centre’s stand. Under the banner of the All-India Kisan Coordination Committee (AIKCC), the unions got convinced that the recent farm acts will benefit farmers across India. The laws will save growers from the clutches of middlemen who exploited them over the years, the farmers’ groups said.

The farmers, in a written memorandum, said that they agreed with the government’s proposal to suitably amend the three farm laws. The laws are the centre of deadlock leading to ongoing protests at Delhi’s different borders since November 26. The farmers’ unions were of the opinion that the laws would ensure freedom of choice to farmers in the sale and purchase of agri-produce and allow barrier-free trade and commerce outside premises of Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees.

2. How is the farmers’ unity breaking?

On one hand, there is no end of the ongoing along the Delhi-Haryana border. On the other, a section of farmers met Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday. After meeting the minister, the farmers’ groups said that the Centre’s intentions and policies will ensure the welfare of farmers. The meeting is the exact opposite of what has been going on for the past 19 days in India’s agriculture front.

They added that giving farmers the right to enter into agreements with the buyer would be helpful. This will ensure prior price determination and transfer the risk of market unpredictability from the farmer to the sponsor. These farm reforms, they felt, would also enable farmers to access modern technology. Besides, growers will get better seeds and other inputs, besides attracting private investment into the agriculture sector. This is clearly a picture of farmers vs farmers.

3. Minister Tomar did the impossible

After doing the impossible, agriculture minister Tomar said: “The intention and policy of the government are clear and farmers are already benefiting from the pro-farmer reforms which will help in increasing the income of farmers. The Government is always ready to engage in dialogue.”

Over seven thousand NGOs work under the AIKCC. Therefore, their members will support the recently enacted Farm Acts. This assurance was given to the Tomar by the representatives. These farmers’ unions expressed their gratitude to the Modi government for enacting these Farm Acts. They even urged the Centre not to give in to the demands of the agitators to roll them back.

4. Will rest of farmers’ unions carry on protest?

There is no doubt that the farmers’ unity has broken after the meet with Tomar. More and more farmers’ unions are coming up to accept government law. Did the BJP government play a role in it? Some reports hint at the BJP’s divide and rule politics by the Centre. Recently, the leaders of the protesting farmers wrote to Tomar on Wednesday. They demanded a special session of Parliament to repeal the new farm laws. The growers asked the government to not “indulge in divisive agenda” to break farmers’ unity.

The letter came a day before the second round of talks is scheduled to take place between the Centre and leaders of farmer unions to resolve the ongoing standoff over the new agriculture laws. “We ask the government not to indulge in any divisive agendas with regard to the farmers’ movement which is united in its demands at this point of time. This was clear from the meeting proceedings yesterday (Tuesday),” Samyukt Kisan Morcha Coordination Committee, which is spearheading the protests, said in the letter.

According to the letter, the leaders asked the Centre to ensure that representatives of various farmer organisations and their alliances are decided by the farmers and not by the government and that the all-India alliances that have been at the forefront of the agitation get representation in the consultations.

5. India farm law: Farmers agitation losing steam with pizza, biryani and foot massage luxuries

2020 India farmers’ protest could be losing ground soon. The rift, farmers vs farmers, has come to the fore. There are several reasons behind it. Though several celebs, activists and others have joined the protests, a section of Netizens has expressed displeasure over the real objective of agitation over farm bills.

To help them in their ongoing protests, farmers have received unprecedented aid from several organisations across the country. The organizations ensure farmers are not hungry. They make sure the farmers have beds and get all their basic necessities. The farmers braving cold weather conditions to protest have already got a huge roti making machine at the protest site. It can churn out about 1500 to 2000 rotis in an hour.

Farmers’ protest a carnival: Who’s paying for it?

International NGO Khalsa Aid has set up a foot massage centre at the borders in order to ensure that the farmers, many of them elderly, stay healthy and fit. Around 25 machines are there inside a tent and the farmers can have a ten-minute session each. Besides tea, snacks available at the protest site, activists of Bhartiya Kisan Union from Barmi and Boparai Kalan villages recently set up “pizza langars” to boost the morale of protestors, The Tribune reported.

The question is: who is paying for the luxury? The photos and videos of farmers receiving help and support from several sections of society have since gone viral on social media. Many users have raised the question of whether all these will divert the farmers’ attention from reaching their ultimate goal.

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