The fire emanated in Mandsaur of Madhya Pradesh has engulfed other parts of the state and it has the potential to turn into a nationwide agitation. Farmers of Uttar Pradesh have threatened that they may start agitation, if Yogi Government fails to fulfill its announcement to waive off the debt of farmer up to Rs1 lakh. In Maharashtra, farmers are already agitating, though with timely step taken by Phadanvis government it has been contained for the time being, but there are farmers, who are still agitating peacefully. Delhi has witnessed the agitation of Tamilnadu farmers not long ago, when the farmers were using unconventional method to voice their resentment and attract the public opinion in their favor. Chief Minister Palanisamy has prevailed upon them to withdraw their agitation in Delhi and they are now back in Tamilnadu, but their demands are yet to be met.
That is why; the agitation of MP farmers is a wake up call for our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has aroused the expectations of farmers many folds, but they find their dreams turn into nightmares. In the run up to Lok Sabha election of 2014, Modi has promised that he would ensure that farmers get double of input costs of their produce. But, nothing like that has happened in the last three years of NDA rule. The fact is just reverse. In some cases, farmers are not even able to recover the input costs of their produce. Despite the non fulfillment of their expectations, they faced the brunt of demonetization with patience, dreaming that the major will help government to unearth a large amount of black money, which will be used in their welfare and with more money at its command the government may fulfill the pre-election promises.
But even the demonetization has failed to serve its declared purposes and expectation is being replaced by despairs and frustrations. These frustrations are not limited only to the farmers who are on warpath with the government for the better price for their farm produce.
In Madhya Pradesh at least six farmers have been killed and blame games are going on between the political parties for the agitation and the deaths. In the blame games, the real issues are getting blurred. Even media, particularly electronic media is interested only into the blame games and mudslinging between the political leaders avoiding the real issues plaguing the farmers and their frustrations.
There is no denying the fact that the violent incidents took place because of the mishandling of the agitation. Farmers had started the agitation on 1st of June. Two newly formed organizations were spearheading it. When the support of the agitation started growing, suddenly RSS backed Bhartiya Kisan Sangh declared that it was supporting the movement. Within hours a meeting took place between the leaders of Bhartiya Kisan Sangh and State Government. After the meeting BKS leaders announced that they are withdrawing their agitation, because most of their demands had been accepted by the government. It is interesting to note that those BKS leaders, who took part in the meeting with the government and announced its withdrawal, were not part of the agitation. That is why: the leaders of both the organizations, which were spearheading the agitation got annoyed and they raised the heat many folds to denounce the leaders of BKS.
It is clear that the government did not handle the situation properly at political level and same thing was done at administrative level as well. Police fired shots at farmers, but later District Collector was seen saying that he had not ordered the firing. Even Home Minister of the state denied police firing initially and blamed anti social elements for firing on the farmers. Later on it transpires that police did open firing killing 6 farmers and injuring many of them.
Narendra Modi and his party BJP are feeling good over massive victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and some other places and are confidant of retaining power at centre after 2019 Lok Sabha election. Their hope is based on the ill prepared and ill organized opposition parties, but what has happened in Madhya Pradesh must be an eye opener for both Narendra Modi and his party. If they want to retain power beyond 2019 elections, they have to address the concerns of the farmers and shift the focus of their economic policies toward agriculture and farmers.
-Contributed by Kriti
Picture Credits: thedialogue.co
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