By D N Singh
Today the country faces two major issues before it. One is the pandemic and the other, rather a recent one, i.e the deadlock over the farmers’ bill by the centre. Which may have wider ramification if not handled wisely.
Coming Republic Day celebrations may invite a situation when, amid the cheers, the protest marches by farmers should not paint the landscape with anything inauspicious. The resolve by the agitating farmers has reached the boiling point when there is the need of a mature handling of the tempers of the farmers and the political dispensation.
Neglect Is Long Drawn
Farmers are a community that has been facing the brunt of importance for last many decades. It is not a case of any particular political dispensation that can be attributed playing foul on the interests of farmers but the neglect far too overstretched.
Even today, after the passing of the recent bill it cannot be seen in isolation regardless of what is going on when both sides are unable to hammer a middle path.
However, the Supreme Court’s observations clearly indicate at a some kind of attitude of the central government where the sense of an urgency is missing.
The apex court has dubbed the delay in striking a solution as “extremely disappointing” and even went to the extent of saying that, if the government is not able to resolve the issue and end the impasse then, the court itself can volunteer to do that. It is something that sounds, in a way, like an assault on the rigidity on the part of the Centre.
Court Monitored Committee
One thing is clear that, the constitution of a committee headed by retired Supreme Court judge can also be an option and that seems possible. And in all likelihood, the apex court may also stay the new bill till the impasse is resolved.
But the appointment of a committee headed by four people those who have supported the new farm laws, at more than one occasions, has yet again raised the heckles among the striking farmers thus leading to a situation when the farmers feel that the apex could have done away with such an option where the cure may appear worse than the disease.
So, an amicable solution at this juncture can really mean as a face saving alternative that the centre has allegedly dilly-dallying over for obvious reasons.
But, for a community that constitute the backbone of the country’s food security , going a step or two back by the government at the Centre should not be a prestige issue at all.
The PM Can Only Help
The three contentious points in the Bill somehow led the agitating farmers of the country to assume that, the government has tried to corporatize the process of the purchase and marketing thus leaving no leeway for the farmers in majority those have been giving the produce despite a cyclic risk in marketing.
A section of the farmers have expressed the fear, rightly or wrongly, that the construction of warehouses by one private player for procurement of the produces and it’s retailing by another mega private player, has, in fact, added fuel to the apprehensions.
Because, unless the MSP gains the legal legitimacy, the farmers are obviously to face a situation when they completely loose the bargaining leverage and a situation may arise they fall victim to the foul plays of the dreaded middlemen culture.
Rationally seen, a time has come when the Prime Minister himself plays a part contributing to the process of the debate before it spirals out of the control. So, given the mood out there, the PM can always strike a solution and that is framing of a new Act.
About the Author:
DN Singh is a Bhubaneswar-based senior journalist.
This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write up have nothing to do with the www.prameyanews.com