ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Repeal of the ‘Black Farm Laws’

A Momentous Battle Won, But the War Ahead Is Long and Hard

Tracing the trajectory of the farmers’ movement against the farm laws, this article commends the victory of the farmers with the repeal of the black laws while also reflecting on the struggles that lie ahead.

Through an announcement strea­m­ed via the television channels, on the morning of 19 November 2021, India’s Prime Minister conveyed to the country that the three farm laws enacted in 2020, which had triggered a most impressive protest movement in the recent decades, would be repealed. Given that, for almost one year, the spokespersons of the present union government and its acolytes had shown an amazing appetite for not only being dismissive of the concerns raised by the movement, but also for heaping scorn and abuses of various kinds on it (for example, “anti-nationals” of different hues), the capitulation on these acts was dramatic, if not stunning, for the hyper faithful of the regime and even spokespersons and ministers, who were left fumbling for words, to justify the sudden announcement.

But it was also very much in tune with the style of functioning and persona of the current Prime Minister, on which I do not want to dwell any further here. However, it is worth underscoring that the decision to go back on these acts came almost with a mourning, along with an apology to the country, when the Prime Minister claimed that there was indeed nothing wrong with the three laws, which would have taken Indian agriculture and farmers to new heights; the problem, in the Prime Minister’s wisdom, was that a segment of the “misguided peasantry” was unable to see its own good. Hence, the capitulation was ostensibly to mollify completely unjustified “bruised feelings of the lost sheep,” a point to which I will return a little later.

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Updated On : 31st Jan, 2022
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