Updated: Aug 5
1. Is it 'BJP'?
Indian electorate generally has short term memory and votes on built narratives. Issue will not really matter among farmers beyond the next election in Punjab. It is anyway hard for BJP to single-handedly win Sikh majority state due to Hindutva affiliations.
No real damage it has faced in agriculture belt of western UP; impact anyway divided on 403 seats, hence western UP's impact for magic 202 figure in big political state of UP may be inconsequential. Yes they will loose votes among one particular dominant caste in next Haryana election (though three years is a big time for ecosystem change), which anyway are voting more for Congress; as CM Khattar is not from their caste. This dominant caste had legacy of having own CM's which at times compromised law and order situation; hence erstwhile subjugated caste groups are enjoying better governance situation in current rule which will minimise damage. will minimise damage.
2. Is it 'Opposition'?
They will see gains in immediate election of Punjab. Though current Punjab troubles within Congress and two more active players i.e. Akalis and AAP presents interesting game due to vote division. A four way battle without any coalition can throw surprising results.
3. Is it 'Rakesh Tikait'?
He got lot of fame in the entire issue. But post repeal he may not tangibly be able to create 'national level farmer mobilization' which he wants; to fulfil dream of becoming national level political leader. Practically this mobilization is anyway not possible; as too many other identities are involved beyond occupational identity. As people know Tikait in personal capacity in western UP; many are saying that he is grossly a corrupt person which is leading to more criticism in western UP than in Haryana or Punjab. Farmers need an educated leader; though democratic representatives are like the average intelligence/education of voters. Most laughable aspect of protest was that Tikait personally knew nothing about three farm laws as clearly seen from his every interview. Tikait will actually be the person who would have hated today's repeal of laws; as it would make him politically irrelevant without major 'active issue'. Though some credit for repeal of laws he will try to channelise for political gains; but impact would be till just next Punjab election.
4. Is it 'Farmers'?
They are the real looser in the entire issue. It has been now proved that progressive changes beyond a point and speed cannot be made in India; as some 'Tikait' will always politically prey on insecurities of poor uneducated farmers. Modern and intellectual elements of India who are sad today should understand that government tried for 1.5 years. Though one may criticize that 1.5 year delay was due to BJP trying to showcase its strong image as rightist parties do; as they don't want to be seen as someone budging instantly under pressure of opposition and now repealing due to Punjab election/UP election. One needs to practically understand that pragmatism and realism always prevails in democratic politics; just that politics should be in the right direction. One should try to understand the most important thing that BJP had nothing to gain politically from these laws; but they still held their ground for this 'change' for nearly 1.5 years. This was among the 'greatest and much needed reform' in Indian history as 58 percent population is still dependent on farming; which got subsumed by vendetta politics. It is not that I support ideologically brainwashed people who found nothing right in farm laws; but I really want to criticize those who knew farm laws were step in the direction for better livelihood of Indian farmers, but kept silent or supported Tikait due to caste, religious or ideological issues. Karma always strike back. Yes there could have been some corrections in current details of laws; but outright repeal is outrageous for well being of poor farmer in this country. Sadly governments cannot be logical or rationalist beyond a point in a populist democracy which works on emotions. Caste associations in rural and backward areas have further consolidated their emotional casteist appeal through this agitation to impact future elections. Though average farmer I pray will realise soon that protest was more an agenda for casteist, religious or political consolidation than actual farmer betterment through retention of backward and conservative status quo.
~ Sandarbh Srivastava is Educator UPSC CSE, Social Worker, Nationalistic Writer/Orator, Sanatani Philosopher, Motivational Speaker, Strategist, Entrepreneur, Ex-Consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers, IIT grad and Cricket Enthusiast.
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