Separatists have chosen their moment but peaceful farmers aren’t falling prey yet
In my whole life I have not seen a large protest as peaceful as the farmer's protest presently underway in and around Delhi. Simple fact and truth.
The reverberations abroad, especially in North America (USA & Canada) as well as United Kingdoms, attempting to revive separatist threats to and in India, appear to be headed in a different way, with the local dynamics of expatriate Punjabis playing out to manipulations visibly sponsored and interfered in by our neighbours - whose own Punjabi problems are reaching some sort of massive crisis levels now as never before.
On the other hand, India's external relations are playing out to what is increasingly one that is taking into account the simple truth that the Sun does not shine out of other people's posteriors anymore, and at the same time the same Sun does not set anywhere in the world of Indians anymore either, and where increasingly more importantly, an ex-pat Indian population often dominates the narrative.
Amongst other things. I shall not name them, this unruly lot of hooligans with their purloined accents who thought nothing of bombing passenger planes in the sky, are irrelevant to the farmer's protest in India, because they truly do not represent anything more than a fake and forgotten bunch trying to come centre-stage again. Instead, do read up on where India appears to be headed, foreign policy and other directions in a forthcoming world where demographic dividends are ours to take charge of.
They are welcome to keep shouting and screaming in their own countries. From what I gather, our farmers in and around Delhi want to have nothing to do with them, and I am saying this on authority. With all the convictions possible as a Punjabi and as an Indian. I am actually proud of the way our farmers have maintained the peace in and around Delhi. So onwards.
Farmer Protests in India - especially around Delhi - appear to have moved on to new dynamics, and especially the more recent action towards non-collection of tolls on highways, which are a bone of contention across all segments of people in India.
Barring the assortment of entitled VIP types whose details are emblazoned on huge hoardings all over India. It is not only the political class which seeks exemption, though they get the most publicity, India is also probably the only country in the world now which still provides diplomats exemption from paying tolls. Which is truly a sad reflection of our colonial past when diplomats were more like foreign representatives with benefits thrust on natives without reciprocal benefits to the natives!
The impact of all sorts of tolls and charges applicable on roads of India, on the farm sector in many parts of India, is the worst insult to self-respect and monetary pain that can be inflicted - without parallel worldwide - on people. You have to be a farmer with a trolley load of perishable produce to understand the ramifications.
Having tangled with NHAI on the road as well as their Head Office in context with various Right to Information Applications, I can confirm that they, especially their Head Office, were one of the most tedious and pedantic sorry bunch of clowns to deal with across all experiences with bumbledom in governance. Kafka could not have described them, at NHAI, better than my sentiments towards them. But do listen to Nitin Gadkari here first?
On the farmers and agrarian reforms, what one increasingly hears is that over and above the contentious issue of "Minimum Support Prices" (MSP) there is a real problem also of farmers being treated badly by their own middle-men class, who in turn are reflected largely as politically connected and thus untouchable. A true MSP programme could have been locked in with crop insurance, for example, and as the pure honey debacle shows in no uncertain measure, have also been co-ordinated with a better quality of farm produce. A bee and honey co-op movement, one that will put the sugar lobbies in their place, is overdue.
I have not seen any real debate on this possible solution, also because crop insurance in India has its own set of problems, again as any farmer will tell you. I may be wrong, but I have not heard good things about how crop insurance is administered on the ground in India, and this does not surprise me bearing in mind how it works in motor, health/medicare and life.
There appears to be no dialogue, truly, with real farmers. Instead, the timeline of the Pandemic appears to have been used in a possibly opaque manner, when in actual fact the larger benefits to people kind courtesy of agrarian reforms are not lost on real farmers. This push from abroad is probably to enable the usual bunch of large landholder classes and interests along with their baboon friends in Delhi, who have been bleeding the country dry for decades now, to mishandle a protest which appears to have been stage-managed more than anything else. The easy target, therefore, is the corporate world.
Or is it? Our corporate world, of late, is not washed in milk either. So, what is the corporate world doing to clean up its image? As of now, on the street, the moment you say "corporate" the following images come to mind in India.
a) NPAs, bank loans unpaid and crooks parked abroad while sham extradition battles saunter along.
b) Siblings and families engaged in takeover battles amongst themselves using share-holder funds.
c) Food product companies selling fake unhealthy food, not just inverted sugar syrup sold as honey.
The Farmer's protests are certainly genuine and the Government of India appears to be taking some steps, headed towards being the breadbasket to the world.
The people behind the Farmer's protests appear to be trying to disrupt the growth and improvement of India's status as the breadbasket to the world.
And therein lies the conflict. Many of the people behind the Farmer's protest are well camouflaged within our Governments too. Read them as politicians.
Veeresh Malik was a seafarer. And a lot more besides. A decade in facial biometrics, which took him into the world of finance, gaming, preventive defence and money laundering before the subliminal mind management technology blew his brains out. His romance with the media endures since 1994, duly responded by Outlook, among others.
A survivor of two brain-strokes, triggered by a ship explosion in the 70s, Veeresh moved beyond fear decades ago.
Number of Reads: 162