Farmers : Prime Minister Narendra Modi enjoys dramatic announcements- be it demonetization or repealing of farm laws. But such dramatic announcements on serious issues do not augur well in a democracy.

Serious decisions affecting the lives of millions of people should be taken after careful consideration and by following parliamentary procedures in letter and spirit.

True, the parliament is the institution for making and breaking laws. But that does not mean that the opinions of people outside the parliament don’t count.  There are many occasions when the elected representatives are not able to sufficiently articulate the concerns of the people.

Forget about listening to the people outside the parliament, the present regime is not even willing to listen to the people inside the parliament. Do they listen to the opposition in the parliament and show any respect to their views? They force pass bills without even allowing proper discussion in the parliament.  All of us remember how they passed the three farm bills and the CAA.

Now, why so suddenly did Prime Minister Modi declare the repealing of the three farm laws in the morning of  November 19?  Frankly speaking, BJP is the only party in India whose main objective is winning elections and forming the government. Otherwise, they are least bothered about anything else. Even if they don’t win, they still form government by any means. They have done it in many states. Memory and context are very important.

It is quite interesting that things happen in certain patterns in reality. People who scheme things may be careful. But unknowingly they leave trails through which we can read their motives. This Central Government is famous for its disastrous decisions. Do we remember the day when the demonetization was declared by the Prime Minister?

It was the fateful night of November 8 in 2016. Many arguments were given then in favor of demonetization. But what was the real motive? The real motive was to ban the free flow of cash at the time of the UP Assembly election and catch all the political parties unprepared except the BJP. Of course, the BJP won the UP election at the cost of ruining the economy of the country.

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I have already said that this political party can do anything for winning an election. They can scarify the nation’s economy and yet declare themselves as the only nationalist people in the country. And who raise simple objections to what they do can be branded as antinationalists.   There are so many examples of this.

Have you seen the Prime Minister’s address to the nation while withdrawing the farm laws? Have you noticed his language? It was so sweet and soft. He said as if there were some flaws in their penance because the farmers didn’t understand the true motives of the farm laws. What penance? How did you treat the farmers who have been agitating against the farm laws for almost a year? Was that penance or revenge?

NDTV’s Ravish Kumar has prepared a news bulletin on the repealing of farm laws which is like a documentary. It outlined the attitude of the ruling party towards the farmers’ agitation. The BJP had said all kinds of things against the agitating farmers and their supporters inside and outside the parliament. Forget what they said. But have we forgotten what they did to the agitating farmers? The roads were spiked so that farmers could not walk to the place of the agitation.

Then, to top the penance of the Prime Minister there was the incident of mowing down of the farmers at Lakhimpur Kheri. And more than 700 farmers sacrificed their lives in the agitation. Wasn’t that the penance for the cause? Who caused all these? Are these the acts of penance by the ruling party to the farmers? No, the trails of things cannot be changed by the clever and cunning use of words. Words are powerful and revengeful too. When used inappropriately words can continue to tease and taunt you forever. Because words are not mere words they stand for an act. Words cannot hide the intentions behind the acts. Acts expose the intentions.

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Why the farmers were steadfast from day one? Why the supports for the agitation were pouring in from among the farmers? It was because their movement against the farm laws was a life-and-death question for them. If not withdrawn these three laws would have periled their livelihood.

People were so angry and unhappy in UP and Haryana with the BJP that the BJP MPs, MLAs and other office bearers were scared of visiting their home turf fearing their wrath. This is the origin of the penance of the Prime Minister. This resoluteness on the part of the agitating farmers mellowed Modi in the time of the election in the UP and he took to penance in his address to the nation.

The withdrawal of farm laws has proved one thing. When all the institutions of constitutional democracy fail the genuine concerns and demands of the people, only one avenue remains open for the people. That is the avenue of peaceful, nonviolent and democratic mass movement.  If the demands are genuine and means are honest and peaceful, the movement will succeed sooner or later. The success of this movement will always be remembered as a great inspiration in the history of our democracy.

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Paresh Malakar

Paresh Malakar is a commentator based in Guwahati. He can be reached at: