Killing two birds with one stone: The repeal of contentious farm laws

The announcement of the repeal of  contentious farm laws comes as a relief not only for the farmers but for the whole nation and its sovereign government. The recent repeal of farm laws makes new insights in strengthening the national security of the nation.

The government has enacted farm laws as per the WTO’s (World Trade Organisation) agreement. Maintaining sufficient food stock with sustainability and engaging with the international trade market been the objective.

The three farm laws, The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance, Farm Services Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 has major advantages for farmers by choosing the flexibility of its buyers, electronic accessibility through E- NAM, instant payments to them.

However, there exists no provision for the Minimum Support Price (MSP) assurance of the government. The passing of farm laws was also in a hurry-burry. That made farmers association, opposition parties in constant resistance to the farms laws.

WTO’s agreement has Amber box limits which permit developing countries to provide 10% MSP to the total agriculture produce. The government’s major concern is to make it effective at the same time providing major reforms for the agriculture post globalisation era.

The implementation of the recent farm laws has been challenging with the states like Punjab, Haryana & Western Uttar Pradesh where farming is the major occupation. Wheat and rice cultivation comes with a Minimum Support Price from the government. Farmer’s in these states sell their produce in APMC’s (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) which benefits them as public procurement.

A large number of farmers from here opposed the farm laws which doesn’t guarantee MSP and dilute public procurement through APMC’s. The farmer’s protests were genuine and democratic in spirit. Sikhs, Hindus, Muslim farmers come together to make a secular protest.

The protests also made room for the miscreants infiltrating from the western borders. Former Chief Minister of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh had a meet with PM and conveyed the possibilities of economic instability to the state and security threat to the nation.

Captain linked the farmers protests to a national security threat, claiming that Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI could be  taking advantage of the situation saying, “Vulnerable protesting farmers an easy prey for ISI.”

National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval asserts that the civil society could be manipulated for the fourth generation warfare. As wars have ceased to become effective instruments to achieve political and military objectives as they are too expensive, unaffordable and there’s uncertainty about the outcome. However, it is the civil society that can be subverted, divided and manipulated to hurt the interest of the nation.

The farm laws repeal could therefore be debated not only in the democratic protest but also the national security perspective. Through the repeal of the farm laws the Modi government killed two birds with one stone ensuring the security of the nation and heeding to the genuine protest of farmers.

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