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From green revolution to operation blue star to Udta Punjab to operation green star: An intriguing destiny of Punjab

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First of all, whatever is going on at the Delhi border, let us not call that charade as Farmer’s protest. The majority of farmers in India and are not protesting. Only a handful of sponsored farmers, misguided by vested interest farmer unions, mainly from Punjab and surrounding areas, are protesting for no genuine reason, with a hidden agenda, and are disrupting and threatening our peaceful way of life.

Genuine farmers are happy and blessed with the recent farm laws, for they usher in long-awaited choice and empowerment in farmers’ lives. I come from a farming family, have spent adequate time on farm fields, sell agricultural produce in Mandis. I have a better first-hand understanding of farmers’ current fate and have had in-depth discussions with various real fellow farmers and other stakeholders. I can say with certainty that the new Farm laws are worth trying, and the current ongoing charade around Delhi in the name of Farmers and Farmer Protests is diabolical. It is a mere waste of our nation’s time and resources and must be put an end to it immediately.

Surprisingly, Media folks could not coin a new and apt word for these protesting goons instead of calling them Farmers and their obstructionism as Farmer’s Protest. Those protesting folks do not represent all Farmers or at least the majority of Farmers in India, and in fact, they are anti-farmers. We have seen similar violent protests and illegal blockades, causing inconvenience to the surrounding residents after passing the CAA bill, which only promises to give the oppressed a decent life. But still, protests and loss of life happened. 

We must never allow our country to be held hostage for ransom by such goons at gunpoint with a single demand to repeal the farm laws. The protesting fake farmers and goons are intolerant and are envious that the new farm laws bring better prospects and prosperity to the real farmers. It is dreadful as to how our nation has become so undemocratic while tolerating the fraud these intolerant gangs have been perpetrating on the Indian public and our democratic institutions.

The state of Punjab has once championed India’s Green Revolution and has earned a unique distinction of becoming the “Breadbasket of India”. Punjabi farmers have embraced the change proposed to adopt modern methods and technology by leveraging agricultural research and technology to increase agricultural productivity. The Panjab state has eventually become prosperous and our nation’s pride with its impressive per-capita agricultural production, tractors, and other machinery. Punjabis have further gone on to contribute greatly to other nation-building activities like serving the armed forces in great numbers.

But Sadly, the Punjab, which was once innovative and open to change, has become adamant and misguided at times. In Punjab, we all have seen how our nation had to endure the pain of Operation Blue Star and the despair from indiscriminate abuse of alcohol, opioid, cannabis, etc in recent times.  Such unfortunate events have happened, especially when imposters and pseudo leaders are given the main say and undue platform for misguiding people.

Such pseudo leaders and imposters wearing farmer’s masks have infiltrated Farmer Unions and are now misguiding the minority of Punjab farmers to protest. The opposition has also become complicit in the grander scheme of vested interest groups for derailing India from growth and prosperity tracks. The Parliament passed the Farm laws, and it is the law of the land, and the Parliament alone can legislate laws that reflect the will of the majority of people. No other power can usurp this legislative power from the Parliament. Judiciary can also only weigh in if the laws are unconstitutional.

But for those peaceful majority of us who believe in a government of laws, not of the mob, the minority’s my way or the highway kind of approach to farm laws passed by the Parliament is deeply disturbing and disheartening. The radical fringe from the minority and fake farmers posing as real farmers and a handful of vested interest farmers unions have been monopolizing the democratic right to protest. They are intimidating to close the debate by enacting their own vision of farmers’ welfare and democratic rights. They are stealing the prosperous future from those real and vulnerable farmers from all over the country. Their unchecked monopoly to protest will indeed cast a dark cloud not only over the Indian agricultural economy but also on Indian democracy as well.

It is good that Judiciary had played a pivotal role in settling a very long-standing real dispute and resolving deadlocks like it is the case of the Ayodhya dispute through a committee. There were many parties to that dispute, and the government was also one of the parties with the primary concern of maintaining law and order and upholding religious liberties. Hence constituting a negotiating & consultative committee was valid and justified. But the Supreme Court’s recent proclivities to mechanically form the consultative committee and to brazenly stay the current farm laws without any intermediate prima facie evidence of constitutional invalidity, or a rational basis, or scrutiny of violation of fundamental rights is just naked and gratuitous appeasement of the mob.

As for the due process is concerned, in the absence of a constitutional restriction or perceivable constitutional violation, the executive is free to implement whatever policy that may reasonably be deemed to promote public welfare, and the government has the right and responsibility to enforce that policy by legislation passed to its purpose. The Farm Laws are in black and white, and there is no question of constitutional invalidity or violation of fundamental rights. It is an open and shut case that the fringe protesters are not in a mood to adhere to our democratic and constitutional norms. The fringe group is purely driving protests and unrest based on the sentiments and fancies of the few miscreants and are preying on the innocence of ill-informed famers.

Leaving aside the constitution of a committee, the indiscriminate staying of laws to appease the mob without a legitimate basis would violate the principle of parliamentary supremacy and is blatant adulteration of the legislature and the executive by the Judiciary. In the recent past, the Supreme Court had already been concerned about some judges’ widespread tendency not to exercise restraint and instead make laws and exercise functions belonging to the executive. Of all the three organs of the state, it was only the Judiciary which can define the limits of all three. This great power must therefore be exercised by the Judiciary with the utmost humility and self-restraint.

The agitating mob that cannot properly list or represent their demands and concerns with consistency to either the government or to the Supreme Court has won the day with the stay. The Supreme Court has set a dicey precedent that parliamentary supremacy can be challenged and an unruly mob can stall democratic processes. So going forward, the passage of all new laws by the Parliament will automatically follow protests, constitution of consultative committees after laws are passed, policy discussion in courts and the laws can be stayed. The questions on policy matters can now be discussed and shaped as a prerogative of the Judiciary and unruly mob outside the Parliament.

If a fringe of farmers from Punjab or any other state does not like the Farm laws, they cannot disrupt the peaceful and lawful pursuit of the prosperity of the majority. The fringe cannot hold the whole of India and the future of millions of farmers to ransom. If the fringe is unhappy with the laws, they need to convince the rest of India with peaceful protests without causing an inconvenience and obstructionism, win hearts of fellow Indians, contest elections on their agenda, come to the power and then only can they have all the liberty to change the laws or completely repeal the laws as per their wishes and mandate. But in no case, under no circumstance, can they take the whole of India as a hostage to their skewed worldview. Their illicit mockery of our pursuit of prosperity, democratic values, and institutions must be crushed with an iron fist with another Operation Green Star if so warranted.

Whatever may be the costs, the long standing national tragedy of Indian farmers must be overturned and Indian government must be unwavering in fully implementing the new Farm laws and the Supreme Court must look into the mirror before staying the legitimate laws for appeasement. If so required, the Supreme Court and the government must provide an option to the protesting farmers to stick to old farming/ agricultural regime if they so wish to dwell in the caves and bondages of Dalaals and commission agents, but should never stay the laws and break the backbone and hopes of the real Farmers who wish to prosper with the new Farm laws. The educated from Punjab must instill some sense and hope to the stirring farmers. The Supreme Court Stay is unacceptable, must be lifted immediately and the government must proceed to full implementation of the new Farm Laws.

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