Will Modi’s reversion to farm law soothe Indian farmers?

New Delhi-A fun celebration on a protest site near New Delhi, the capital of India, was won by farmers in the north as Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to abolish three recently controversial farming practices. It shows that.

It was a tough and winning battle for farmers who camped and cooked on the freeway for a year, overcoming harsh winters, summers and pandemics. The biggest protests during Modi’s seven-year reign arose from farmers’ concerns that the professional market reforms passed last year threatened their land and livelihoods.

“The truth is always predominant. Our struggle was for good reason-we were fighting for our rights,” said Sajjan Singh, a farmer in Punjab.

Feeling bright but dark-Modi’s sudden announcement of the abolition of the law on Friday surprised many as a powerful leader with a reputation for rarely retreating.

Farmers are rewarded for their pure tenacity, patience, and stubborn determination to maintain the course in a conflict with one of India’s strongest governments that critics do not tolerate dissent. Say it.

Many older farmers have lived on the highway for nearly a year. (VOA / Anjana Pasricha)

“This is the first time the government has acknowledged the protesters’ demands, otherwise they will always be chased by the police,” said Jarnail Singh, an elderly farmer, quietly and happy. “But from the Sikh community, we were ready to die for our purposes.”

He is the largest protest site on the Shinfu border, on the border with Delhi, and has helped run a community kitchen that feeds hundreds of farmers every day. There, tractor trams and temporary housing stretch over 1 km, resembling small settlements. “I still store food for six months.”

The turmoil was initially led by Sikh farmers in Punjab, but soon Haryana and Uttar Pradesh farmers also joined the protest.

Known for their organizational skills, Seek Volunteers have a reputation for community services, whether helping people in the event of a natural disaster or feeding the poor. This time, they used the same skills to continue a major protest for a year.

The flash point that caused the protest has been resolved, but the farmers are not yet ready to uproot the bamboo structure or return to the village.

Having enjoyed the victory, they are seeking another requirement: the legal obligation to buy all produce at a guaranteed price. This system is prevalent mainly in rice and wheat in the two northern states where many protesters have arrived.

“Farmers across the country have supported our goals. Now we must make sure everyone has a solid price for their crops,” protested since November last year. Hazindersin, an elderly farmer in Punjab who remains on the site, said. He wants to go home, but he and others are ready to continue the struggle.

After a large rally in Uttar Pradesh on Monday, farmer leaders wrote to the Prime Minister, “The minimum support price based on comprehensive production costs is the legal right of all farmers. Should be. “

Farmers have long sought better prices for their crops, adding that rising costs of fertilizers and seeds have made agriculture unsustainable and their incomes have stagnated. “We are farming because we have no other choice. There is no work we can get. Where are we going? That is why our land is so important to us. “Sajjan Singh, who calls a parcel of his land like many others in India, said his mother.

Modi’s surrender of farming is largely due to the need for his Bharatiya Janata Party to regain peasant support prior to elections in major states. Farmers make up a huge voting block in the country.

“The prime minister bowed down to conquer,” said political analyst Neerja Chowdhury. “I think he calculated the balance of the benefits of retreating rather than continuing the standoffs that happened.”

Both Punjab and Uttar Pradesh will head for next year’s polls, but BJP’s main concern is to take power in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s largest state.

“The BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has lost its place because it has all been sacrificed, including dealing with the Covid crisis, rising prices, and losing livelihoods,” Chowdhury points out. “Ground reports from western Uttar Pradesh, where farmers joined the turmoil, showed that things weren’t good for the party.”

But despite the big concessions by the Prime Minister, it may not be easy to bring them back and reconstruct his image of peasant supporters in the coming months.

The year-long protest has undermined the trust between farmers and the government. A few days after Modi urged them to go home, they are still flocking to protest sites on the Delhi border.

“We will not open the highway until the law is abolished by Congress and the order is signed by the President,” Sukhpreet Singh said.

Will Modi’s reversion to farm law soothe Indian farmers?

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