TTT New Delhi- A recent round of Indian farmers’ agitation is the real first salvo against the corporatization of the nation’s farm produce that over 10 million farmers across the northern part of India have been protesting against over the last three months.
Since their demands to nullify the Agricultural Farm Bill which, they claim, will further collapse the food security system of the country, more than half a million supporters under different ‘unionised’ umbrellas of farmers, have descended upon the national capital to a police managed ‘designated area’ to take part in a ‘peaceful sit-in’ around 17 kilometres from Prime Minister Modi’s official residence.
The farming sector feels that the new legislation will overrule the current minimum selling price of their produce to their regional agents.
The buyers will quote their own proposed purchase prices which farmers fear will be much lower than levels at which they have generally been selling until now.
And recent tensions over the proposed bill have increased as a result of protestors creating a ruckus on the outskirts of Delhi on Saturday, November 28th, and working together to pressure the government by blocking all entry points to Delhi – thereby causing essential supply systems to the capital of the world’s largest democracy to break down.
In response, the government has stationed several law enforcement agencies at strategic points to tackle any outbreaks of violence that may erupt.
In the prelude to blocking the entry points to Delhi, the protesters of the new Bill blocked roads and dug trenches on some of the highways into the city until the police came out in force, using water-cannons and tear-gas to restore order.
A farmer from the state of Punjab, Gurmeet Singh, told The Taiwan Times that they had food-stock for three months, and that they were going to camp in Delhi until a time when the draconian Bill would be withdrawn.
“If we run out of supplies, we have made arrangements to replenish,” he said confidently.
The Delhi government is on tenterhooks at present as the assembly of such a large number of people may boost the spread of the coronavirus which may then spread quickly without timely isolations.
“It is not possible to enforce physical distancing,” (in the present political climate) said one government official not wishing to be identified.
India’s Prime Minister has formally received a memorandum on behalf of more than 500 farmers demanding the passage of the agricultural Bill be ceased, but the central government has yet to properly respond.
And observing the determined stance of the agitators in recent days, political analysts are increasingly sceptical that an acceptable solution will be forthcoming any time soon.
Many of these analysts also feel that the entire question surrounding the agitation we are observing on behalf of farmers around India has been engineered to damage the reputation of the prime minister.