The earlier one was in 1947 when India gained its Independence and broke the shackles of British bondage. Lakhs of farmers representing 14 crore Indian farmers and the members of their families continued their year-long struggle to fight against three black agri-laws imposed upon them, ignoring the democratic parliamentary procedures. These laws were a clever ploy to deprive them of their fundamental rights of selling their farm produce independently. The farmers endured the strains of a cruel winter, remorseless summer and an unprecedented long rainy season. The farmers sensed that the ruling dispensation had decided to violate their fundamental rights and to sell their interests to a few capitalists. The entire civil society felt that these laws may pave the way for the reign of a second East India Company and may ultimately lead to the enslavement of the entire Indian population. The Government used all undemocratic methods to suppress the indomitable spirit of the farmers.
The promise to repeal the three black laws does not indicate any change of heart on the part of the ruling dispensation. At the most it is a tactical retreat. The valiant farmers deserve the gratitude of the entire Indian population for safeguarding democracy and protecting the future of 140 crore Indians and the succeeding generations. This farmers’ agitation is a classical example of a democratic struggle against an unsympathetic government. This government was bulldozing democracy and freedom of people, falsely using the name of people’s benefit.
The representatives of the farmers are severely criticising the Government. They say that they cannot accept the words of the government unless the black laws are repealed by our Parliament. They allege that this Government is in the habit of making false promises. Therefore they have decided to continue their agitation. They say that to safeguard their future from the expected machination of the government, they want the fulfilment of their second demand of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their produce. This demand is quite justified because of the continuous increase in the prices of farm inputs like seeds, fertilizers, fuels, etc. After all, the farmers are entitled to get a fair and sustainable percentage of profit for their produce. This has to be ensured by a democratically elected government. It cannot be expected from greedy capitalists and agents of crony capitalism. This agitation reminds us of The French Revolution of 1789 which changed the relationship between the rulers and the people they governed. It would be remembered in Indian history as a harbinger of a second independence and reassertion of people’s rights and a struggle against the insensitive and anti-people schemes. It proves that anti-people laws cannot be imposed by misusing steamroller majority.
The collective consciousness of the Indian citizens will continue its struggle against the authoritarian designs. It appears to be determined to use its voting power in the forthcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh and other states and finally in the next general elections. The world is keenly watching the battle royal between the fascist tendencies and a spirit of freedom. It is to be seen whether the pillars of tyranny erected by the ruling dispensation are retained or fall like the proverbial ninepins.