Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Farmer’s vs. Communist’s demands: Day vs. Night

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OK, it does not get any more ridiculous than this! In the year 2008, the same Punjab farmer who is currently hell bent on crippling the country with protest against the 3 farm bills, was, get this, protesting for precisely what the farm bills now make possible. You cannot make this up. See the report on the protest in Punjab’s leading English daily, the tribune. The protest was led by BKU (the same organization whose various chapters head the current protest) and Sharad Joshi.

Quoting the BKU leader from the protest, Bhupinder Mann,

Even though the international price for a quintal of wheat had reached Rs 1600, the government was forcing the farmers to sell their produce to the government for the minimum support price of Rs. 1000 per quintal.

Hmm.. so when the international price is higher than MSP, the BKU opportunistically wants to sell at that price. Fair enough. That is called a free market. The BJP is the most free-market favorable of all major Indian parties. Seems good so far. Mr. Sharad Joshi goes on to articulate rather well the benefits of a free market to farmmers.

Why should the farmer suffer losses by selling their produce at lower rates to the government? MARKET FORCES AND NOT POLITICS should be allowed to rule.

(emphasis mine)

Wonderful! This is precisely what the government of India also wants. Hence the 3 farm bills offer precisely these opportunities. The whole new idea is to allow corporates to procure produce from farmers at any rate of their mutual chooosing, dictated by market prices. Furthermore, the farmer will be protected by continuation of the MSP procudrement price should he wish to sell to the government. For the farmer, it is even better than free market since the entire risk of the farmer is borne by the government (due to continuation of MSP) while he alone stands to make profits should he be able to get a better deal from corporates. Seems like a heaven sent bill for the farmer, no?

So what went wrong? Why the protesting? It is becoming increasingly obvious that the protests are being carried out by communist-minded farm leaders, and abetted by a host of anti-India forces. A cursory investigation of the 6 main farmer leaders (who rejected the government proposal to amend the farm bills) shows that most of them are associated with communist parties. Obviously that ideology does NOT want what the ordinary farmer wants—benefits of free markets. Unfortunately, this leadership has a stranglehold over the protests, and is posing as a representative of farmers, when in fact it is a representative of the communist forces of India.

When the protests first began, and some Khalistani posters appeared here and there, some thought the protest had been hijacked by Khalistanis. I beg to differ. Khalistan is a nonsensical idea and its adherents number a few thousand, while its so-called leaders are no more than paid low-rent workers of Pakistan’s ISI. It is known that this deader-than-a-dodo movement can organize anti-India protests by paying sums of (reportedly) $200 plus bus tickets to/from protest center to some expat Khalistanis all of whom obtained asylum and other fradulently acquired visas to stay in western countries. Besides nuisance value and a tragically ruinous future to their children, Khalistanis offer nothing. They would be flattered to be in charge of this movement: they are not. This movement is run by communists. Some recent detailed reporting on the backgrounds of all the leaders who call the shots in thies movement (by India TV, among others) makes clear that the leadership of this protest movement is out and out communist, spanning the spectrum from Marxist to Maoist.

I think the first thing the government must do is make clear that it has called the bluff. Our government can, and should deal with farmers. It cannot and should not deal with anarchist communists.

Acknowledgement: The tribune article was brought to my notice by its mention on video by the youtube channel AKTK. I did independently verify it and then used it for this article.

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