The three farm laws, which were enacted by the NDA government led by Narendra Modi in September 2020, were finally repealed by the government because of the persistent efforts and peaceful protest of the farmers for more than a year.
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During this democratic protest by the farmers mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, more than 670 farmers sacrificed their lives due to heat, cold and COVID. However, the farmers got partial justice as after the year-long protests on Delhi’s border, the government announced the withdrawal of the farm laws.
But so far the government has failed to provide any kind of support to the families of the protestors who have lost their life.
These laws were against the federal structure of government. As per the constitution (schedule 7) of India, “Agriculture” is a state list subject. The passing of any laws on the state list subjects without consulting the stakeholders is an encroachment on the powers of the state government and any such action is arbitrary.
The new farm laws allow the entry of private players, which means farmers can sell their produce directly to private players at the market price. But they fear that these big businesses that only work on the motto of profit may eat them and increase their vulnerability.
Even before, back in 1998, the deregulation of the sugar industry failed to improve agriculture and productivity and income. In another attempt by the state government of Bihar of scrapping the APMC act hasn’t witnessed much improvement in the conditions of farmers.
Only 6% of the farmers get guaranteed support prices for their crops, while more than 90% sell their produce at a market price. According to the Economic Survey of 2016, the average annual income of a farming family is meagre ₹20,000. So how will farmers have faith in the new laws when most of their transaction is already private with no resultant improvement?
Now the government has withdrawn all the three farm laws, which farmers from all over India opposed after a year. The Modi government that consistently held that the laws were good and would be helpful in doubling farmers income now withdrew the laws on the note: “Despite several attempts to explain the benefits to the farmers, we have failed and thus repealing the laws”.
Is this is the true reason? Or reason is the reason something else? It can be elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Both the states have substantial vote banks of farmers.