The months-long protest of the farmers demanding the withdrawal of the new farm laws set by the government took a new turn when the PM referred to them as “Andolan jeevis” which means professional protesters in his address to the Rajya sabha. The farmer’s body found this remark to be insulting and said they are always on for talks with the PM but such remarks from him are not at all expected.
What the PM said
In his address to the Rajya Sabha, the PM said that the farmers’ protest has invited professional protestors and that takes the entire idea of protesting to a different level. He said, “a new entity has come up in this country – ‘Andolan Jeevis’… can be spotted wherever there is a protest… sometimes at the forefront and sometimes from behind. They cannot live without protests. They are parasites” and that we need to protect our country from “parasites that feast on every agitation”. The remark is basically for the ones who are trying to create disturbance in the protest spot and they belong to neither the farmers’ group nor any other social groups. They can also be considered as people trying to create political agendas out of nowhere!
Farmer leader Shivkumar Kakka on the remark
Though the intention behind such comment by the PM cannot be justified well, it anyhow hurt the sentiments of the farmer’s leader. Shivkumar Kakka, the head of the farmer protesting group said, “We have never refused to hold talks… Whenever the government has called us we have held discussions with Union Ministers. We are ready for talks with them. It is Andolans that have liberated India from colonial rulers, and that is why we are proud to be Andolan Jeevis”. Conveying their democratic rights to the Govt, Mr. Kakka further said, “Agitation has an important role in democracy. People have a right to oppose the government’s wrong policies”.
Political agendas must not withhold the casual motif of the farmers protest
It can clearly be noticed that the peaceful farmers’ protest has turned into such huge agitations in a few months due to the political agendas taking birth in the whole fiasco. The BJP and congress government parties along with other political parties are trying to make it a huge political agenda with respect to their own views. But as the BJP government is in power now, the farmers’ leader expects a mutual decision by the government to end the implementation of the new farm laws. The farmer’s body said, “It is the BJP and its predecessors that never did any Andolan against the Britishers… they were always against the Andolans (and) they are still scared of public movements. Farmers will be more than happy to get back to farming if the government accepts their legitimate demands… it is the government’s adamant attitude that is creating more Andolan Jeevis,”
The Policy Times policy suggestions
- The PM represents our country and farmers are the souls of the nation. Thus, such remarks by the PM that agitates the farmers is not good for the country’s image in the international media after the farmer protest issue came to light last week by Rihanna’s tweet.
- The PM must make an appeal to the farmers to end the protest and have talks with them in the regard to come to a mutual solution so that they can get back to farming again.
- The MSP legalization is a very legitimate demand by the farmers that must be taken into consideration by the central government to ensure the farmer gets their minimum dues guaranteed.