Thursday, May 6, 2021
Home Opinions From BKU to Punjab CM Capt Amarinder: More hypocrisy on the farm bills

From BKU to Punjab CM Capt Amarinder: More hypocrisy on the farm bills

Here is a great thumb rule. If you find any person or organization protesting against the new farm laws, spend a couple of minutes on google, looking up their past views on the APMC system.

Look who supports the supposedly “controversial” farm ordinances of Modi government. This is from Jun 4, 2020:

“देश के 14 करोड़ किसानों को एक देश एक मंडी का तोहफा देते हुए सरकार ने किसानों को अपनी उपज कहीं भी बेचने की अनुमति दे दी है। कैबिनेट ने अध्यादेश के जरिए इसे मंजूरी दी है। भाकियू के राष्ट्रीय प्रवक्ता राकेश टिकैत ने सरकार के इस कदम का स्वागत किया है और कहा कि यह भाकियू की वर्षो पुरानी मांग थी।”

(Translation: Union Cabinet has sanctioned an ordinance giving 14 crore Indian farmers the gift of one nation, one market. Rakesh Tikait of Bharatiya Kisan Union has welcomed this move of the government and said that the BKU had been demanding this for many years).

If you are rubbing your eyes in disbelief, you are not alone. This is the same Rakesh Tikait who has been leading a “movement” against these laws on our TV screens. This is the same Rakesh Tikait who recently met Cabinet ministers, including Amit Shah, with his demand to repeal these exact same laws. So how seriously can you take this “movement”?

A few days ago, I had written an article with the somewhat arrogant title of “All the hypocrisy over the Farm Bills 2020 – in one place.” You can check it out here. There is no way one single person, in one article, can collect all the hypocrisy that we have seen in this matter. This article is Part 2 in my efforts. I am guessing that many many more such articles shall be required.

Coming back to the case of Bharatiya Kisan Union, they had welcomed the law for good reason. For one, they had included these demands prominently in their “Kisan manifesto” for the 2019 elections.

Bharatiya Kisan Union on farm laws

Indeed, the documentary trail of evidence for this demand goes back decades. Let me quote a report from The Tribune in April 2008:

Farmers from Punjab and Haryana today staged a demonstration in the city in protest against the decision of the Centre to ban corporates from procuring wheat from their statesLed by Sharad Joshi, MP, and Bhupinder Mann, a BKU leader from Haryana, the farmers rued that though the price of wheat had shot up to Rs 1,600 per quintal in the international market, the government was forcing them to sell their produce at the minimum support price of Rs 1,000 per quintal.

The same BKU, back in 2008, demanding the right to sell to corporates! But it’s not just 2008. We can literally go back decades and find the same demand. Indeed, a 1996 scholarly paper by Bentall and Corbridge (Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (published by the Royal Geographical Society), Vol. 21, No. 1 (1996), pp. 27-48) traces the history of the BKU and lists among its key demands:

the abolition of restrictions on the interstate movement of farm produce

BKU demand

Indeed, this was the key demand behind the large scale protests by BKU’s Mahendra Singh Tikait in the 1980s and 1990s. The self-appointed farmer leaders and the media has been reminding the public about these protests. Conveniently enough, they have not told us what those protests were actually about.

So much for the BKU. We already know that the Congress party promised these same farm reforms in their 2019 election manifesto. But, there is more.

Capt Amarinder’s hypocrisy

That’s Captain Amarinder Singh, pleading with Punjab farmers, presumably with folded hands, to do themselves a favor. Explaining how the farmers could have tripled their incomes if only they had a chance to deal with Reliance. But alas, the Akalis rained on their parade.

This was before Punjab elections. Why won’t Captain Amarinder Singh do what is needed now?

It isn’t just the BKU or the Congress. Take this tweet from former Chief Economic Adviser Kaushik Basu.

Kaushik Basu’s tweet on farm laws

Thank you professor, for studying the farm bills and then putting out your conclusion in less than 280 characters. Your intellectual contribution has received over 15,000 retweets.

There is still the tiny matter though of whether this is consistent with the views of the panel on inflation that Kaushik Basu chaired during the UPA regime:

The recommendations have been sent to the prime minister and the finance minister, said Basu. According to him, APMC reform would allow free movement of grains across the country and FDI in retail would speed up large-scale and efficient movement of food grains from the farmers to consumers, and these two measures would considerably reduce food inflation.

Okay, people can change. But does this mean the Basu led panel made those recommendations without studying the matter carefully? Did Kaushik Basu make a mistake or was he incompetent? If he personally disagreed with the recommendations of the panel, did he place his dissenting opinion in writing?

I am not a farmer. I am not an expert nor an economist. But I subscribe to basic notions of logic. Why would folks who welcomed a law back in June be opposing it on the streets now? Why would they contradict themselves without giving a reason?

You and I are entitled to ask these questions, whether or not we know anything about the agricultural economy. In any case, everyone is at least as much of a “farmer leader” as Yogendra Yadav.

Here is a great thumb rule. If you find any person or organization protesting against the new farm laws, spend a couple of minutes on google, looking up their past views on the APMC system. Chances are, they are contradicting themselves. The hypocrisy isn’t surprising. The surprising part is that in this particular case, they have left a really long trail of evidence exposing themselves. The evidence is hiding in plain sight. You just have to open your eyes.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or may not be an Associate Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  

Related Articles

Trending now

Karnataka Congress shares morphed image to allege BJP MP Tejasvi Surya’s link with BBMP bed scam after Congress supporter arrested in the case

Karnataka Congress morphed a photo to claimed that BBMP bed scam accused Congress supporter is actually BJP supporter

Fact sheet: Central govt’s Rs 190 crore a month subsidy on food grains vs Delhi govt’s Rs 8 crore a month free ration scheme...

While central govt provides free food grain under PMGKAY and wheat & rice at ₹2 and ₹3 under NFSA, Delhi govt is subsidising that ₹2 and ₹3

The orphans of Covid-19: Everything you need to know about legal adoption and govt rules

India has strict rules for parents who want to adopt a child. No individual, NGO or organization can take in a child without permission from the authorities.

Did a teacher in Karnataka die after self-administering lime juice to treat Covid-19? Here are the facts

Following the unfortunate death of Basavaraj and the subsequent misinformation peddled by media groups targeting the BJP leader and businessman Vijay Sankeshwar, the family members of the deceased teacher have come out in public to quell the misinformation about his death.

Bengal post-poll violence: Over a lakh people have fled from Bengal, says BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari

In recently concluded polls, TMC won 213 out of 292 seats while BJP won 77 seats. Suvendu Adhikari defeated West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram.

Assam BJP disbands its minority cell after failing to make inroads in the Muslim-dominated areas in assembly elections

BJP said that the party has won fewer votes than the 20-member booth committees present in the minority dominated areas in Assam

Recently Popular

Birbhum SP denies reports of rape of polling agents in Bengal’s post-poll violence

In light of the bloodshed and unspeakable atrocities committed against its party workers, the BJP has announced a nationwide dharna on May 5.

‘Out of control’ Chinese rocket falling back on Earth and no one knows where it is going to crash: Details

After launching space station hub, China's Long March 5B is doing 27,600km/h in failing orbit, with eventual crash site unknown.

Bengal post-poll violence: TMC goons attack BSF jawans, set their homes on fire, Network 18 journalist reveals

Earlier, TMC Chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had demonised the central paramilitary forces. She had even urged the party supporters to 'gherao' them during elections.

Banished by Twitter and Facebook, former US President Donald Trump launches his own communications platform

Trump's senior advisor Jason Miller additionally informed that this is not the social media platform they talked about and that the plans to launch the same remain intact.

Bullied by liberals, Pat Cummins reallocates his contribution from PM CARES to UNICEF Australia

Australian cricketer Pat Cummins has announced that he has relocated his donation to UNICEF Australia from the PM CARES fund.

Twitter permanently suspends Kangana Ranaut’s account for demanding action against ‘monster’ Mamata Banerjee for Bengal violence

Twitter has suspended the account of Bollywood superstar Kangana Ranaut for demanding action against 'monster' Mamata Banerjee.
- Advertisement -


Connect with us