11
Apr

Farmers Protest: SC Committee Report

   Posted by: aman   in Other

April 11, 2021

Day 137

Toll 363

#FarmersProtest

SC Committee Report

Today morning, at 8 am, the 24-hour blockade of Western Peripheral Highway around Delhi ended. All night the farmers were on a vigil. While the farmers continue their vigil, I wonder where is the government who needs to be awake.

On January 11, the Supreme Court appointed a Committee to look into the Farm Laws. It was peopled by pro-laws advocates: Bhupinder Singh Mann, National President, Bhartiya Kisan Union and All India Kisan Coordination Committee; Dr. Parmod Kumar Joshi, Agricultural Economist, Director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute; Ashok Gulati, Agricultural Economist and Former Chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices; Anil Ghanwat, President, Shetkari Sanghatana.

Among these, to be charitable, Mann had used his BKU leverage to get nominated to Rajya Sabha in 1990. Like many activists he might have thought that instead of opposing the system, he must get inside the system and change it from within. It is the same with the founder of Ghanwat’s union. From mass agitations Sharad Joshi became a supporter of World Trade Organisation and got elected to Parliament. He even tabled a private member’s Bill to delete the term ‘socialism’ from the Preamble of the Constitution. Of course, these tactics never worked – today farmers stand opposed to the Laws passed in Parliament. In the last two decades the agriculture sector crises has deepened.

Suspecting the pro-laws bias of the Committee members, the farmer unions had announced they will not follow the Committee proposals. Fearing social boycott, Mann recused himself from the Committee. On March 19, after 12 rounds of meetings both online and offline with various stakeholders, claimed to be 85 groups – farmers, farmer producers organisations, procurement agencies, professionals, academicians, private as well as state agriculture marketing boards – and 11 internal meetings, the Committee submitted its report to the Supreme Court in a sealed envelope.

It has now been three weeks. Not a word from the Supreme Court; not a word from the government. For perspective, On March 19 the death toll in farmers protests was 308. On March 19, the Covid cases were 40,906, deaths were 188. Today the death toll in farmers protest is 363. The total Covid cases are 1,52,565 and deaths are 838.

Where is the government?

The government is greedily busy electioneering in Bengal. It is trying to win yet one more territory.

To do what?

To sell it. I really wonder about those who naively, blindly believe this government stands even an iota for development, to safeguard our nation. How pathetic is that support!

What will happen with the SC Committee Report? Chief Justice of India SA Bobde is due to retire on April 23. He has recommended Justice NV Ramana to be appointed as the next CJI.

Remember in October 2020, the Andhra Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy’s had cast aspersions on the next CJI in a letter leaked to the press. He had accused the next CJI of being close to former Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu and against him. He had raised issues with Amaravati land allotment and so on.

Of course, the Supreme Court had stood by its Judge and not admitted the petition. But this is indicative of why the farmer unions do not trust the Supreme Court and its Committees.

Meanwhile, the farmer vigil and protest continues.

 

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