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The story of the protest against farm bills in one picture

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As someone who has been following the anti-farm bill protests minutely since the first day of protest in Delhi (today is the 20th day), the one thing that stands out to me is that these protests are totally insincere. Let me explain. For the first 13 days, the stand of the farmers was that the bills were objectionable since they did not give a written guarantee that MSP would continue. See the tweet by one of the leaders (among many) who was trying to exploit the protests for his party’s political gain—Mr. Sukhbir Badal, head of the SAD. That tweet was on November 28th.

The tweet makes it clear that the only issue of protest was (ostensibly) the inclusion in written form of the continuation of MSP in the farm bills.

Now, fast forward to 6 days back (December 9th). The government put out a proposal that OFFERED to add the guarantee of continuation of MSP in writing to the farm bills. It did not stop there either, it added a slew of other sops to the protesting farmers, such as putting APMC mandis on equal tax footing with the envisioned private mandis.

Yet, WITHIN HOURS (!!), on the very same evening, the farmers had rejected the proposal! A proposal that gave them all of their demands, vociferously put before the nation for 13 days (and in Punjab for 2 months prior to that)! Think about that for a minute. It did not take the farmers more than a couple of hours to decide they did not want precisely those things they had been agitating for for weeks now. How is that possible UNLESS those demands were just tokens for an agitation that had ulterior motives from the start. I am of course not saying that every Kisan who sat in dharnas had such motives, but it seems clear that the leadership did. It knew all along that these demands were not their real desire: they were just political theatre. Because the moment these demands were (perhaps unexpectedly) met by the government, the farmers rejected him almost immediately.

I personally feel that the farmer leadership (that includes political parties like SAD and the congress) IS ALREADY EXPOSED at the moment they rejected the government’s proposal. It could not be clearer: the government gave them exactly what they wanted, and even more. And they immediately rejected it. Does that speak of a sincere agitation? Have you seen any sincere principled agitation that does this?

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