The repeal of the farm laws is to be celebrated for the following reasons:
· It is a victory of democracy over autocracy.
· It has shown that a determined mass of people can defeat the agenda of a corporate favoring government despite its massive majority in the Lok Sabha, compromised institutions and massive false propaganda by the government as well as government bought media.
The question comes to mind is that now that the three black laws would be repealed, will the farmers benefit?
The answer is a big no. The farmers are in a dire state. They are dying a slow death. The three farm laws would have accelerated their ruin. The farmers have thus saved themselves from quick ruin but not from slow death. Grant of MSP by the government, if agreed to, will not benefit the farmers much in the long run or the country much either.
What is the Essence of the Problem?
The essence of the problem is that approximately 45% of the Indian population is dependent upon farming for survival and the contribution of this sector to India’s GDP is approximately 17%. The share of the GDP cannot go up and it will only fall in due course. Thus poverty for farmers will continue unless the government does something.
What is the Solution?
The answer to the problem of the agriculture sector lies outside the agriculture sector. The government has to increase the manufacturing and services sectors and create low skill and reasonable paying jobs to make it attractive for the poor farmers to shift to them gradually. Not more than 15% of the population is needed to take care of the agriculture sector. The central government should focus on improving the economy, increasing the manufacturing and services sectors, attracting FDI and increasing exports. It should also stop promoting the undefined, unclear and confusing idea (probably protectionist policy) of “Atmanirbhar Bharat”. The government should respect the Constitution and leave the subject of agriculture for the states to resolve. Geographical diversities dictate that the subject of agriculture be handled by the states.
Is there an Urgency?
There is an urgency to resolve the issues because if this is not done then India’s demographic dividend will soon turn into a curse.