Things you Need To Know about Farmer’s Protest
Farmers in India are on an outrage. Thousands of farmers are sitting in protest in the nation’s capital against the Agri-marketing laws enacted at the Center in September. Farmers Union and their representatives have demanded that the law should abolish. They have rejected the stay order issued by the Supreme Court of India on the farm laws.
Farmers from various regions of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh have gathered in the National Capital Region of Delhi from November mid-2020, and the protest is still on. They have locked a majority of borders in the city and looking far away from reconsidering their protest.
What is the Protest Really about?
In September 2020, three laws were enacted to allow agri- businesses to trade farm produce hassle-free. These acts are,
- Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020
- Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020
- The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
These laws permit the private traders to stock up large quantities of essential commodities for future sales and implement relatively new contract farming rules. In simple terms, the farmers can now sell their produce to the private buyers directly and later, enter into a contract with private companies.
The farmers are left shell-shocked by Government’s decision and have expressed their animosity via protest.
What are the provisions under the new laws?
- Farmers will have to enter into a contract with the processors, aggregators, wholesalers, exporters, and retailers to comprehend the full price of the product
- At the time of sale, farmer’s won’t get charged with any transportation cost
- Farmers will get access to modern technology along with better seed and other inputs that results in better growth of the crops
- Farmers will be pre-assured of the price of their produce even before sowing crops
What are the farmers fearing?
The government is robust in its decision. They firmly believe that the new law will give farmers the freedom of choice to sell and purchase their produce both inter and intra-state.
The farmers, on the other hand, are uptight that if the new bill gets converted into a law, they will refrain from the MSP (Minimum Support Price) they have been pressing upon the government for months. The proposed bill doesn’t specify any method of determining the guaranteed price farmers will be getting, which is something concerning the farmers even more.
In addition, the farmers also fear that the prices they have been setting for years in the Mandis will cease to function according to the private players, and they will be the ones dictating the price.
Before migrating to the nation’s capital, farmers in Haryana and Punjab blocked roads and were seen sitting in periodic protests. Punjab farmer unions later announced a ‘rail roko’ (stop the trains) turbulence that lasted for almost two months. The turbulence led to the suspension of trains in the state and shortages in critical areas, including coal for thermal power stations. The turbulence at one stage was relaxed for the goods trains, but the Indian Railways were firm to either run both gods and passengers train or none. The opposition Congress-majority Punjab Assembly were spot on to react on all this and were in full-mood to spit fire on the centre. They reacted to these central laws by passing Bills meant to “negate” their effect in the state. The Punjab Bills, however, are still awaiting the consent of the state Governor.
The Tractor Rally on 26th January
The farmers decided to take their protest to another level, and they chose 26th January to do so. They decided to start a tractor rally on Republic Day in the national capital and were seen breaking police barricades and troubling traffic of all sorts. The peaceful protest all of a sudden turned violent on 26th January.
The tractors driven by the protestors deliberately tried to run over the police personnel, especially in the ITO area, which is among the highly secured areas of the city. Several people and police officials suffered injuries during the clash as the farmers were seen indulging in the mischief of public property and targeting police officials deployed for Republic Day security.
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Soon after the violence, many areas where farmers were seen protesting have been vacated. Previously, a meeting called by Home minister Amit Shah didn’t saw any favourable results for either side.- This means the concern is far away from going down.