Excerpt: Are the protests non-political?

Just look at who is driving the protests in the enclosed list. We see the following – a bunch of purely political parties and the Bharatiya Kisan Union (highlighted in yellow). The President of the Bharatiya Kisan Union is Mahendra Tikait, the son of the same leader Mahendra Tikait who brought the Rajiv Gandhi government to its heels in 1988. Mahendra Tikait belongs to the Rashtriya Lok Dal, a Jat and farmer party, which has an alliance with the Samajwadi party in Uttar Pradesh and fought against the BJP. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, it was galling for him to lose his election deposits by getting just 9539 votes against the more than 5.2 lakh votes for the BJP. A person who got 9539 votes claims to represent all farmers in India and the media too gives him a free pass. It is fine for protests to be political as it is the job of the opposition to oppose, but protestors to claim no political bias is blatant hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy is abundant in Indian politics and academia. While the ruling party has accused the Congress, SAD and AAP of both promising and supporting changes in APMC earlier and now walking back on their word, these parties in turn accuse the BJP of the same hypocrisy of opposing farm law reform during Congress rule. Almost every party had agreed to agricultural reform in the past, and it is blatant politics to oppose it now.

Academia is no exception to the hypocrisy all around. Kaushik Basu and Raghuram Rajan, both chief economic advisors who had preached about APMC reform and private sector involvement now claim that private sector would exploit farmers and that the laws should be repealed. Rajan once said “The private sector should be allowed to operate in developing these market linkages.” A pity that economists are worse than politicians and don’t have any moral courage to say the truth.

Published by Vinod Aravindakshan

Engineer, Economist and Manager

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