A Silent Spectator’s Views On The Farmers’ Movement

A silent nation stood to watch as thousands of farmers and supporters marched towards Parliament on 30th November with basic demands. Passing of two bills in the parliament and to hold a joint parliamentary session dedicated to the agriculture crisis in the country.

Some buzz was created around the farmer’s march this time. Active volunteers participated in their own ways. Creating WhatsApp groups and Facebook pages. Mobilising people. Many groups came out in solidarity such as:

Professionals for farmers.
Teachers for farmers.
Students for farmers.
Lawyers for farmers.
Doctors for farmers.

A lot of people from all walks of life came out to empathise with the farmers.

We the people of India, buying our food through e-commerce websites and supermarkets looked from a distance. Our children feel that food comes from the fridge, from the big plush AC store with aisle after aisle of food packaged and overpriced.

Our life has kept us aloof from the realms of those who produce this food for us. Our careers, appraisals, bosses and personal life is enough stress for us to bear. That doesn’t mean we keep ourselves away from extending support. We do participate in the yearly “altruistic event” arranged by our employers, social groups or some activist friend who compels us to join. We really try our best to give it back to society.

We don’t really know what’s wrong with the farmers in our country. We do read about it in the newspapers. We sigh on their plight. We do support or criticise the government. We pay the taxes, our hard-earned money, our contribution to the economy — our blood and sweat.

So yes, we try our best. What more can we do? The only MSP we know is the one we pay for and sometimes bargain if we can. We can’t really visualise if there is a crop failure due to vagaries of monsoon. We know it’s bad though. We know there are crop insurances to compensate. We don’t probe beyond that. When we hear a farmer committed suicide somewhere in a village, we turn the page over or scroll down for a much happy news. Who likes to talk or read about death anyway. Death is bad though, and so is debt. They both sound same and have started to mean the same. We aren’t able to understand this as we pay our instalments month after month for the luxuries we buy.

We can definitely show support to our farmers by at least supporting people who support them. We like and share the related posts and sometimes even contribute by transferring money online. We may not be able to join the march when our jobs and meetings do not even give us scope to leave early for our daughter’s birthday party or our son’s parent-teacher meet. But maybe if the march is on a Sunday, we could think of attending.

We don’t face any difficulty in getting our food, so we don’t understand it. Maybe if food got scarce and money couldn’t buy it anymore, that would be something to think of. We do take holidays for harvesting festivals every year in April, but we really don’t know what is harvested and how much and how it is harvested. It’s assuring that some people are standing with farmers in their fight.

Someday we would join the movement when the time is right (or the boss sanctions the leave). Someday the risen consciousness would act. Someday we would not just say it – but also mean it, Annadaata Sukhi Bhava!

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