Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Home News Reports Even as NDTV journalist Ravish Kumar continues to rant against new Farm Laws, he...

Even as NDTV journalist Ravish Kumar continues to rant against new Farm Laws, he had argued for similar reforms in 2015: Read details

Kumar had passionately lamented about the upsetting circumstances he witnessed at the government-run mandis

Ever since the Modi government belled the cat of reforming the agriculture sector, propaganda peddlers and opposition parties are having a hard time fathoming the fact that there’s finally a regime at the centre which is committed to addressing the problems besetting the farmers.

As a part of the centre’s initiative to reform the agriculture sector, three farm laws were passed by the Modi government in September 2020. These laws were aimed to open up new avenues for the farmers to increase their income. However, soon after the laws were passed, opposition politicians and ‘activists’ ginned farmers up against the new Bills, scaremongering them into believing that the laws were against their interests.

Before long, the doubts and apprehensions sowed by the opposition politicians and ‘activists’ manifested in protests, chiefly in Punjab, a state governed by the Congress party and has the highest average farming household income in the country. With the government refusing to roll back the reforms it initiated, the protesters decided to intensify the protests by marching to Delhi amidst the incipient second wave of the coronavirus.

Since then, hundreds of protesters have been camping against the new Farm Bills along the Delhi Border. While many rational news reporters have tried to allay the fears harboured by the farmers, there have been some prejudiced journalists, who have sought to amplify the misgivings surrounding the new agriculture laws.

Ravish Kumar rants against the new farm laws amidst ongoing farmers’ protests

NDTV journalist and Magsaysay Award winner Ravish Kumar lies in the second category. Ever since the protests made it to the national headlines, Kumar has been trying to portray the central government as a cruel oppressive regime that is insidiously working against the interests of the farmers. In his endeavour to paint the Modi government as anti-farmers, Ravish has not stopped himself from using lies and deceit.

Earlier this month, Ravish ran a prime time program on his channel, NDTV, insinuating that the Prime Minister did not consult with the farmers before initiating the reforms. Kumar possibly did not bother to ask the government the logic and rationale behind enacting the three farm laws. To his chagrin, the central government had conducted about 1.4 lakh training and webinar sessions, reaching out to 93 lakh farmers in the last six months over the agriculture reforms.

Ravish Kumar lies about Adani’s grain silos in Punjab

A few days later, on December 7, Kumar was caught peddling lies and misinformation on his show Prime Time on NDTV where he claimed that just before the new farm laws were passed by the Central government, Indian conglomerate Adani Group built grain silos in Punjab and Bihar.

Kumar was alluding that the farm laws were passed with the aim of advancing the Adani Group in Punjab. Casting aspersions on Adani Group, Ravish Kumar claimed that the farmers are questioning the setting up of grain silos in Punjab by the Ahmedabad-based corporate. For this, Ravish cites a 2016 article which claiming to be that of 2019. In his show, he conveniently fails to let his viewers inform that the article is from 2016.

He then further questions that if Adani is storing the gains in silos owned by FCI (Food Corporation of India), is procuring grains from farmers, won’t they suffer loss if they are not getting MSP (Minimum Selling Price). Here Ravish Kumar is already assuming that the Adani Group will exploit farmers by not giving them a fair price for their produce.

As it turned out, Kumar’s insinuations were grossly misleading. In 2005, Adani got into a BOO (Build, Own, Operate) agreement with FCI to set up grain silos in Moga and Kaithal. A 2008 report said that the silos were operational and 3 lakh tonnes of wheat production was procured for FCI in the previous season. Interestingly, the grain silos operated by Adani and owned by FCI in Punjab, actually procure food grains at MSP.

Ravish Kumar had made a case for agriculture reforms in 2015

However, facts of the matter have never stopped Ravish from indulging in peddling propaganda. His bias against the Modi government has often forced him to take leave of his good senses. It is noteworthy to mention that a few years back, Ravish Kumar was an active proponent of the reforms in the agriculture sector.

In an article titled as “Farmers are trapped between the agents and the bank, made slaves in the Mandis”, Ravish Kumar made a case for bringing in urgent reforms to address the agrarian distress prevalent in the country. He poignantly described the travails faced by the farmers in selling their produce in state-authorised Mandis and the scourge of the middlemen that they are “trapped” with. Kumar had then raised questions of the leaders, across the political spectrum, for the sad state of affairs at the Mandis.

“It is better to switch off the TV and visit Mandis. There you will realise, farmers, are left to fend for themselves. There is no watchman to guard the stock at nights. There are no policemen for security. The farmer is awake all night to keep an eye on his grain. This is the situation when the TV channels make us believe that our leaders are working for the farmers,” Kumar passionately laments about the upsetting circumstances he witnessed at the government-run mandis.

Source: relevant section from Ravish Kumar’s article on NDTV

Kumar also bemoaned that the farmers in the country are suffering because of the prevalence of middlemen in the state-run Mandis. He was baffled that farmers had to pay commission to the middlemen at the Mandis.

“From weighing the agriculture produce brought by the farmers to filling them in sacks and loading them on to trucks of the farmer to filling it into sacks and loading it in trucks, it is the job of middlemen to transport the rations to government-owned godowns. For this, the farmer has to pay Rs 6 for every fifty kilos of wheat sack. In return, the buying agency pays a commission of 2.5 percent to the agent. If the purchase price of wheat is Rs 1450 per quintal, then the agent gets Rs 35-36,” Kumar wrote.

Further, into the article, Kumar said that the farmers were too dependent on the integrity of the agents to get them an optimum price for their produce. The agent, Kumar noted, held disproportionate power as he is tasked with the responsibility of getting the requisite price of the grains to the farmers from the agencies. The agencies, on the other hand, pay the agents based on the quality of the produce. They pay agents if the quality of the agriculture produce is below their standards. The decision, Kumar observed, was a fait accompli, leaving farmers with no option but to rely on the integrity of the agents to get them a fair price.

Kumar also added that removing middlemen appeared a compelling solution to the problems bedevilling the farmers. “There is a Mandi where the farmer brings his agriculture produce and sells the same to the government agency. So why are these agents required anyway?” Kumar asked.

However, Kumar also contended that the farmers continue to stoically endure the “exploitation” at the hands of the middlemen because at trying times, they act as saviours and come to their rescue.

Relevant portions from the article authored by Ravish Kumar on NDTV website in 2015

“Banks ask farmers to keep their land as collateral to secure loans. A lot of time is also wasted in the paperwork for securing loans. But the middlemen grants lend money based on faith. When the farmer has additional money, he invests his money with the agent, only because the agent pays more interest than the bank. The farmer may be angry with the agent but he will not revolt against him because he is trapped in a cycle,” Kumar said.

With these laments, Kumar is essentially demanding for reforms in the agriculture sector that would empower the farmers and end the menace of the middlemen. The three farm laws brought in by the Modi government are singularly focused in this direction. The central government has iterated it many times before that the new Farm Bills would empower farmers by opening more choices, bypassing influential middlemen and connecting them directly to the potential buyers.

By and large, the reforms passed by the Modi government were the ones recommended by many political parties, with AAP and Congress even promising to bring in similar reforms in their election manifestos. Many prominent individuals, including Kumar, have also endorsed these reforms in the past. But, as the Modi government grasped the nettle and enacted the reforms, all those who were passionately demanding for reforms turned into implacable rebels.

  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

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

 

Related Articles

Trending now

As mobs take over during the farmers ‘tractor rally’, Sagarika Ghosh celebrates violence on Republic Day

Sagarika Ghosh, widely known as a propagandist, is in a jolly mood, celebrating the display of mobocracy by farmers during tractor march

Modi govt gives Padma Award to real Harvard Professor: Read details

Srikant Datar, who became the 11th dean of Harvard Business School on 1st January 2021 is one of the recipients of the Padma Awards in 2021.

Archaeologist BB Lal who led the excavation revealing existence of a temple at Ram Janmabhoomi site gets Padma Vibhushan

Professor BB Lal had discovered pillar bases immediately south to the Babri structure pointing at the existence of an ancient temple.

Barabanki: Family wanted to get rid of mentally disabled girl, so killed her and created the story of rape and murder

The brother of the victim had strangulated her while the mother held her legs down. The brother had also hit her on the private parts to make it look like rape, the police said.

Long before Punjab ‘farmers’ threatened Republic Day parade, Muslim bodies gave a call to boycott Republic Day function in 1987

In December 1986, newly formed "All India Babri Masjid Conference (AIBMC)" had given a call to all Muslims to boycott the Republic Day celebrations in 1987.

Protesting ‘farmer’ spends Rs 35 lakh to modify his tractor for Republic Day rally

The modified tractor is fitted with huge wheels. It is said to withstand heavy rain and water cannon charge.

Recently Popular

Professor who translated Rahul Gandhi’s “don’t need army if farmers are strong” speech in Erode faints after the speech: Reports

Muhammed Imran, who translated Rahul Gandhi's speech at Erode, collapsed after interpreting the speech from English to Tamil

Is it actor Prosenjit Chatterjee in the portrait of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose inaugurated by President Kovind? A fact check

It was claimed that it was actor Prosenjit Chatterjee in the portrait of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose inaugurated by President Kovind.

Ashoka University Assistant Professor mocks Lord Ram while trying to troll President of India over false accusations

Neelanjan Sircar works as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Ashoka University and also a also at the Centre for Policy Research.

Donating for construction of Ram Mandir? Beware of these fraud UPI IDs

Beware of fraudsters. UPI IDs which are similar to the real UPI ID for Ram Mandir donation have propped up.

‘What is wrong with your mindset? Such people must not be spared,’ MP HC makes scathing remarks against Munawar Faruqui: Details

The Indore Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has reserved its order on the bail application filed by Munawar Faruqui.
- Advertisement -

 

As mobs take over during the farmers ‘tractor rally’, Sagarika Ghosh celebrates violence on Republic Day

Sagarika Ghosh, widely known as a propagandist, is in a jolly mood, celebrating the display of mobocracy by farmers during tractor march

Modi govt gives Padma Award to real Harvard Professor: Read details

Srikant Datar, who became the 11th dean of Harvard Business School on 1st January 2021 is one of the recipients of the Padma Awards in 2021.

Archaeologist BB Lal who led the excavation revealing existence of a temple at Ram Janmabhoomi site gets Padma Vibhushan

Professor BB Lal had discovered pillar bases immediately south to the Babri structure pointing at the existence of an ancient temple.

Barabanki: Family wanted to get rid of mentally disabled girl, so killed her and created the story of rape and murder

The brother of the victim had strangulated her while the mother held her legs down. The brother had also hit her on the private parts to make it look like rape, the police said.

Long before Punjab ‘farmers’ threatened Republic Day parade, Muslim bodies gave a call to boycott Republic Day function in 1987

In December 1986, newly formed "All India Babri Masjid Conference (AIBMC)" had given a call to all Muslims to boycott the Republic Day celebrations in 1987.

Ayodhya: Construction work of Dhannipur mosque to be formally inaugurated with hoisting of the Tricolour on Republic Day

The event will kickstart with the hoisting of the Indian flag. Following this, the members of the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF) will also plant tree saplings to commemorate the day.

Protesting ‘farmer’ spends Rs 35 lakh to modify his tractor for Republic Day rally

The modified tractor is fitted with huge wheels. It is said to withstand heavy rain and water cannon charge.

Watch: Punjab farmers break police barricades and enter Delhi, begin their tractor rally ahead of time

Protesting 'farmers' from Punjab on Tuesday broke the police barricades at Tikri and Singhu borders ahead of the tractor rally.

India bans TikTok, WeChat and 57 other Chinese apps permanently

Unsatisfied by the response given by these companies to notices issued in June last year, Govt of India permanently bans 59 Chinese apps

Congress MP and head of AICC’s legal department appeared in MP HC to demand bail for Munawar Faruqui who insulted Hindu Gods: Details

Munawar Faruqui was represented at the Madhya Pradesh High Court by senior advocate Vivek Tankha. He is a Congress MP.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
496,912FollowersFollow
22,900SubscribersSubscribe