What farmer protests? The BJP-led Government was busy honouring Deendayal Upadhyaya

The Government of India, chooses to look the other way, as lakhs of farmers protest agricultural laws they fear will make them slaves

Image Courtesy:dnaindia.com

Lakhs of Indian farmers took to the streets, sat under the scorching sun, put their bodies on railway tracks, to demand what are their basic rights. Fair price for the crop they grow, rights over the land they till. They marched, sat on dharnas, courted arrest, and protested throughout the country, and were supported by secular politicians, civil rights activists, even film stars, sporting heroes, and pop singers, both on the ground and on social media. Global media including the BBC, and Reuters, covered the protest, the first of its kind in the world since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. 

The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020; The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce Bill, 2020; and The Farmers Agreement on Prices Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, all laws now, have unified the farmers, to protest and demand that they be withdrawn. These legislations passed through without discussion or debate in the Indian Parliament last Sunday made a mockery of parliamentary democracy too.

How did the union government respond? It celebrated the birthday of  Deendayal Upadhyaya, one of the most prominent ideologues for those aligned with the right-wing ideology. He was a co-founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, that later gave birth to the Bharatiya Janata Party. Hence Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Government of India, was busy in his role as primarily a BJP worker. He remained busy with the birthday celebrations. 


Not that the farmers of India actually expected that the Agricultural minister would spare some time to address them, and listen to their concerns. They continued to protest the three controversial agricultural bills that became Law, once they were passed in the Rajya Sabha, despite lacking the required number of votes on September 20. That act of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) completely affronted the essence of democracy and disregarded Parliamentary rule and procedure. Incidentally, as reported by SabrangIndia earlier, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare had admitted to the agrarian crisis on September 18 when it said that more than 10,000 farmers, cultivators had died by suicide in 2019. This is part of the staggering 42,000 suicide deaths in the informal sector in that year. With the new “reforms” things are likely to just get worse.

However on September 25,the agriculture minister chose to quote Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words from the BJP’s event celebrating Deen Dayal Upadhyaya’s birth anniversary that “Some people were misleading farmers and, people are spreading rumors, because of political interests. 


He also spent most of his time, as shown in his various social media posts, with party work, and among other things also dedicated to the public, the Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Convention Center of Jiwaji University Gwalior, which he said was made at a cost of Rs 23 Crore.


His junior minister Parshottam Rupala too seemed to have a similar schedule. No time to speak of, for, or to the indian farmers who are still protesting, against the new Acts, they feel will harm their future.


He was merely following the leader it seems.  Prime MInister Narendra Modi too had a busy day, addressing his party workers on the birth anniversary celebrations.

He also spoke to Japan’s new prime minister Yoshihide Suga


It was only the BJP ally, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir S Badal who joined the afters, but only to say that his wife, and former minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal’s resignation had “shaken up Modi. For the past two months, there was no word on farmers, but now 5-5 ministers speak on it” The former ally is now planning a major protest march on October 1 and says it “will shake up the throne in Delhi as well the one in Chandigarh.



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