Farmers’ ‘Betrayal Day’ on Jan 31
Even after the Government rolled back the three black farm laws, the woes of farmers do not seem to have come to an end. On January 30 Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait alleged that the Union government has not fulfilled the promises it made to the protesting farmers to withdraw from their agitation against the three farm laws last year. To protest this ‘betrayal’ on the part of the Government the farmers announced to observe a nationwide “Betrayal Day” on January 31.
Tikait said that the protesting farmers withdrew from their more-than-a-year-long protests at Delhi’s borders based on the Centre’s promises made in a letter on December 9, 2021, but the promises were yet to be fulfilled by the government. “The government has not fulfilled any of the promises made on the letter dated 9th December (2021), on the basis of which the movement (farmers protest) was suspended,” he added.
The Centre had promised that a committee would be constituted to work towards a new framework for the minimum support price (MSP), a legal guarantee for which has been one among the key demands from the farmers besides the repeal of the three laws. “The families of farmers have lost more than 700 of their loved ones in the movement. Farmers will never forget these days of last year,” Tikait said in a tweet in Hindi. “MSP is the backbone of farmers and farmers want MSP guarantee law to save the future of farming! The fight continues, the fight will continue,” he further said.
Political Storm on Pegasus
The investigation by the New York Times that the Indian government had purchased Israeli NSO group’s Pegasus software in July 2017 in order to carry out targeted surveillance on citizens has erupted a new political storm.
The revelations that came just two days before the Budget Session of Parliament has provided fresh ammunition to the opposition parties to corner the government on the issue. The opposition parties attacked the government, accusing it of “misleading” parliament and the Supreme Court on the issue. The Congress party said the alleged use of spyware on opposition leaders, Supreme Court judges, journalists and activists was an “act of treason”, and said they would raise the issue in the upcoming budget session as well.
The Budget Session of Parliament seems to be very chaotic. It would be fitness of things for the Government to apologise to the nation in candid terms.
Kolkata, West Bengal
SC No to ‘Equal Pay For Equal Work’
On January 27 the Supreme Court remarked that “Equal pay for equal work” is not a fundamental right vested in any employee, though it is a constitutional goal to be achieved by the Government. The bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Bela M. Trivedi observed that the equation of post and determination of pay scales is the primary function of the executive and not the judiciary. Therefore ordinarily courts will not enter upon the task of job evaluation which is generally left to the expert bodies like the Pay Commissions, the court added.
As it is a constitutional goal to be achieved, it is an irony that the Government has not taken any initiative even after the passage of over seven decades since Independence.