The talks between the government and the leaders of 35 farmers’ organizations on Tuesday did not yield any result, but at least the two sides have begun to understand each other. The conversation opened for the first time and the deadlock was over. This is a good start as the two sides discussed agricultural laws for about four hours. During the talks, a presentation was also made by the government regarding new laws so that misunderstandings can be removed.
The government has asked the farmer leaders to point out their objections to the new laws in a point-wise manner so that each clause can be considered by the government in the second round of meeting on Thursday. Two senior ministers of the government, Piyush Goyal and Narendra Singh Tomar, on Wednesday informed Home Minister Amit Shah about the things revealed in the first round of talks. There was another meeting on Tuesday evening with the leaders of the Bharatiya Kisan Union led by Rakesh Tikait representing the farmers of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Now the question before all of us is, what is the way forward? What can be the solution to this issue? In the first round of talks, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar proposed to set up an expert committee to study the new laws, but was rejected by the farmer leaders. He said that the government should have done this before enacting new laws. Farmer leaders bluntly told the government that they would continue their agitation till new laws were withdrawn.
On one side, farmers of 35 organizations were sitting at the negotiating table with the government, on the other hand thousands of farmers were sitting on dharna on Singhu border, Tikari border, Burari Maidan, Chilla border and Ghazipur border. Due to these agitations by the farmers, the movement of vehicles was stopped along with heavy traffic jams. In view of the siege by farmers on the borders of Delhi, Delhi Police on Tuesday issued a list of routes for movement of trains without any problem. Jananayak Janata Party, BJP’s ally in the Haryana government, demanded that the provision of continuation of MSP scheme should be included in the new agricultural laws.
The Modi government has given a positive signal by starting a dialogue with farmer leaders. Earlier this conversation was scheduled to take place on December 3, but in view of the current deadlock on the borders of Delhi, the talks were done without any conditions ahead of schedule. By doing so, the government has given the message that it is neither adamant about what it says, nor is its intention suspicious. The farmers have given a positive message by joining the conversation without any preconditions.
Farmers realize that in democracy, all major problems can be solved peacefully only through dialogue. Taking support of the movement, he has clearly indicated that he is not happy with the new laws. After the meeting, it was clear after listening to Narendra Tomar that the government is talking to the farmers with an open mind, and it is not doing any kind of politics with the farmers. If both sides have faith in each other, then the way can definitely be found out. But there are many people who have nothing to do with the farmer movement, but they are reaching out among them as sympathizers of the farmers and provoking them against the government.
Leaders of small political organizations such as Chandrashekhar of Bhima Army and Pappu Yadav of Bihar visited them on Tuesday to express their solidarity with the farmers. Let us assume at once that these leaders are worried about the farmers, but I do not understand why Shaheen Bagh’s grandmother and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is jumping in the middle. They have nothing to do with the problems and complaints of Indian farmers.
In fact, Justin Trudeau has spoken on this issue because Sikh voters of Indian origin live in large quantities in his country. These Sikhs belong to Punjab and their support during the elections in Canada means a lot to Trudeau and his party. Trudeau has said that Canada will always stand to protect the right to peaceful protests (by farmers) and it is a matter of concern for them. In response to Trudeau’s statement, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday that ‘we have seen some such remarks by Canadian leaders concerning farmers in India which are based on misleading information. Such remarks are unfair, especially when they pertain to the internal affairs of a democratic country. ‘
British leaders John MacDonnell and Tan Deci have also criticized ways of dealing with peasant protests in India. These British leaders are known as anti-Modi and India needs to clearly explain to these people that this is an internal matter of our country. The farmers belong to us, we stand with them, and people from outside should refrain from making such statements, do not interfere in the internal affairs of our country. Farmers and the government will resolve this issue together.
The farmers have to understand that external forces are trying to take advantage of their movement. Some protesters also put up pro-Khalistan posters at the protest site, which is clearly an anti-national activity. It should be noted here that most of the farmers asked these people to stay away from their movement and set them aside. Farmers should know that the movement is very large, and it does not have a single leadership, so the crumbling gang and pro-Khalistan elements can try to exploit their opposition. In such a situation, farmers need to be very careful. (Rajat Sharma)
Watch: Aaj Ki Baat, complete episode with Rajat Sharma ‘December 01, 2020