DNA Special: Farmers' protest being misled by political parties for vested interest?

Since independence, Congress or its supporting parties ruled for almost 54 years but no constitutional guarantee status was given to MSP.

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DNA Special: Farmers' protest being misled by political parties for vested interest?

A couple of days ago, we had spoken about how the farmers' agitation was being hijacked by the pro-Khalistan supporters and political parties. But this news did not go down well with a section of people who trolled and declared us anti-farmers. However, the truth is that Zee News has often raised issues related to farmers and hailed their contribution towards the development of the country.

Today we again stand in support of the farmers and don't want the agitation to be hijacked by Khalistan terrorists and political parties. 

How the Khalistan is taking over the agitation can be gauged from the fact that one of the tractors at the protest site at the Singhu border had the painting of AK47 rifle. Surprisingly the tractor did not bear any number plate and the driver is yet to be traced.

Thousands of protesting farmers have camped in Delhi and want to protest outside the parliament. The government has, however, not given them permission so far due to which the farmers have decided to seal 5 entry points to the national capital Delhi. The farmers say they have stocked food items and essentials which will help them continue the agitation for 4 months. 

The farmers have already closed the Singhu border and Tikri border. While the number of farmers on the border connecting Ghaziabad and Delhi has started to increase due to which it has been partially closed. Apart from this, preparations are also being made to close Delhi-Jaipur highway and Delhi-Agra Highway.

Meanwhile, the central government has assured the farmers of unconditional negotiation with the farmers which is scheduled to be held on December 3.

In fact, the farmers have clarified that they will not allow any political party to share the platform with them. But looking at the direction in which this movement is headed, it seems that political parties, anti-national elements and foreign forces want to hijack this movement.

This is evident from the fact that demands to allow genetically modified (GM) crops have begun to grow among the protesting farmers despite a ban of the production of such crops. By raising such demands, it is clear that foreign companies are also trying to instigate the protesting farmers for their selfish gains.

The farmers have been demanding two major things, the first is not to abolish the MSP fixed by the government every year for grains and the second is to let the government mandis function.

But the truth is that the government neither wants to abolish the MSP nor is there any provision in the new agricultural laws to remove mandis.

According to a 2016 report, the average monthly income of farmers in India is only 6 thousand 400 rupees, which means that their average annual earning is only 77 thousand rupees. In our country, 86 percent farmers fall under the category of small farmers, that is, they have less than 5 hectares of land.

At present, only 0.39 percent of the farmers in India are eligible to pay income tax. And these farmers have, on average, at least 15 hectares of land. But do you know that most of these people are not real farmers but they are those who on the pretext of owning farms claim income tax benefits. These include big movie stars, politicians and industrialists.

According to a report, the average debt on 52 percent of Indian farmers is Rs 1 lakh 4 thousand. That is, the farmers have more debt than the average annual income.

In the year 2019 alone, more than 10,000 farmers committed suicide in the country. And most of these farmers were unable to repay the debt. Due to middlemen, our farmers get only 10 to 23 percent of the market value of any grain.

India is an agricultural country. But India's share in the export of agricultural products in the world is just two and a half percent.

Most importantly, 38 percent of the current Lok Sabha MPs are farmers. It is surprising that one in every three MP in India is a farmer but the farmers are forced to protest.

The agitating farmers fear that the government is going to end the MSP system, but this is not true at all. The government has stated in the country's Parliament that it has no plans to abolish the MSP. No government can turn back from what was said or promised in Parliament. If this happens, a legal case can be brought against the government and the government may fall.

But here the government should give legal recognition to MSP in the same way as MRP has. Because if a packet of chips or a bottle of cold drink can be sold in the country at MRP and a certain profit can reach the industrialists, then why the price of the crop of the farmers cannot be fixed.

Bt the reality is that only 6 percent of India's farmers are able to sell their crops at MSP. Close to 94 percent of the farmers have to sell their crops at even lower prices.

Therefore, some experts say that instead of MSP, the government should start giving 10 thousand rupees per hectare of land to farmers. The cost of implementing it will be around 1 lakh 97 thousand crores all over the country which is almost equal to the expenditure on MSP.

In India, the MSP does not yet have constitutional guarantee status. But still, the government buys crops from farmers on MSP every year. There has been a demand for a long time that the government give constitutional status to the MSP. Since independence, there have been 15 Prime Ministers in India and the Congress or its supporting parties ruled for almost 54 years. But no steps were ever taken in this direction. 

From 1979 to 1980, Chaudhary Charan Singh was the Prime Minister of India, he himself was a big leader of the farmers but even then MSP did not get a constitutional status.

Whenever elections are held in India, governments promise to increase MSP or announce loan waiver. Until this year, 11 states have waived off farm loans worth millions of rupees. Every year new schemes are brought to improve the condition of the farmers and relief packages are given. But the condition of the farmers has remained the same.

Farmers have gradually become a political issue for leaders. In the name of farmers, big rallies happen in the country but there is no concrete result.

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