This refers to “Farmers march in Delhi gives Opposition parties common cause against govt” (December 1). It is sad that the farmers’ protest in Delhi has not galvanised the government into taking concrete action to mitigate their distress. Even their singing and drumming or displaying the skulls and skeletons of deceased farmers seem to have proved futile in waking it up to their plight. It is not just the government’s failure to understand the seriousness of the agrarian crisis. The society has also failed to mount pressure on the government to accede to the just demands of the farmers — a complete waiver of all farm loans to escape the endless cycle of debt, minimum support price based on the recommendation of the M S Swaminathan Commission, steps to break the hold of trade cartels and adequate compensation for crop failure and inter-linking of rivers.
The government must stop saying that these demands have been met already to a large extent. Farmers have little confidence in the government and they see the promise of doubling farm income as a jumla. Paying lip service to farmers’ plight does not make a party pro-farmer. BJP alone is not to blame. The previous regime had also done little to improve the economic viability of farming as an occupation for the country’s impoverished masses. We should join the farmers in urging the government to convene a special session of Parliament to exclusively discuss the agrarian crisis and take decisions on how to tackle it. The odds of the government agreeing to it are very remote.
G David Milton Maruthancode
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