In March 2010 I was on an annual trip to Bihar.Bad crops had hit farmers very hard.The compensation offered by the Govt(BJP+JDU) combined was such that it didn’t even cover the cost of irrigation. (Till now diesel is the only source of power to do irrigation in my village)Coming back to Madhya Pradesh, Killing of farmers at a protest in MP is not quite uncommon. The last Congress CM(Digvijay Singh-1998) had also ordered firing which killed 24. Hope a judicial probe will clear the air of who killed 6 more in 2017 especially when PM talks about “New India”. Sorry Mr. PM to burst your bubble. Killing and exploiting farmers is still quite “Old India”. Another interesting fact is – MP was awarded thrice by UPA for its agricultural development and twice in a row by present NDA( Despite 2 years of drought).If officials figures are to be believed then the BJP govt in MP has brought a sort of agricultural revolution in the state.
Farmers protests of Madhya Pradesh has rightly captured prime time slots and in a bid to maintain political relevance, Political parties and leaders are hoarding up in MP to reap political dividends. Take for example of Rahul Gandhi. His government sat on the report of renowned agriculturalist for 8 years. I wish instead of announcing loan waiver his party would have at least for once read the report.His Jijaji who happens to be a private citizen has multiplied his wealth exponentially by dubious land deals.
BJP is crying conspiracy but to be frankly honest, BJP has no right to blame others. It has brought it on itself. Although there are images of Congress workers being instigating the crowds but when your administration kills 6 protestors then it any PR team would advise them of damage control instead of squarely blaming opposition parties.Another lesson for BJP is that never make promises which you don’t intend to fulfill. It’s Lok Sabha election manifesto promised something but after coming into power it decided to take a U- turn in Supreme Court.The most damaging are it’s UP loan waiver scheme. Money should never be distributed for free. Loan waiver has triggered sentiments and outrage among many farmers in BJP ruled state. “Agar UP main loan maaf hosakta hai to yaha pe kyun nai?” is the popular discontent. This is where BJP lost the plot. Instead of taking a leaf out of Modi’s Gujarat Model they tried to imitate the Congress. For nonstarters, despite terrible drought in Gujarat, Modi went against the popular sentiment and did not offer any loan waiver. Load waiver only helps already rich farmers and the poor remain burdened under enormous debt from money lenders. Probably this is where BJP lost the plot.
There is no denying the fact that there is an inherent problem in structural land holding patterns which are difficult to overcome by any government.The apathy is that no government has seriously considered land reforms in last 70 years.The only land reforms that the nation saw was when corporates are to be benefitted. No one bats an eye for poor farmers. Media does it for TRPs, Netas does it for votes. Ultimately farmers are left out in the lurch with Rs 1600 monthly income to feed itself, it’s family and the nation.