Prime Minister Narendra Modi while speaking at a programme on 29 September 2020, blasted the opposition for opposing farm market reforms and thereby creating roadblock for farmers’ welfare. He cited one particular instance of Congress workers setting the tractor ablaze during the protest and said that “the protestors are now insulting the farmers by setting fire on the goods and equipment that the farmer worships.”
This particular instance does need a closer look and has to be contextualised, as it marks the difference between a regressive and a progressive outlook.
First, the Youth Congress itself claimed that they set ablaze the tractor as a form of protest. Hence, they can’t maintain distance from the incident now.
Many people on social media also opined that no real farmer will burn a tractor because it is his main farm equipment, and is viewed as a path to progress and a prized possession. The fact that the Congress workers can’t understand this basic sentiment shows how alienated the party has become from the reality and how fake their protest in the name of farmers is.
Juxtapose this with the recent trends in tractor sales in India. Yes, the same tractors that the Congress wants so desperately to set ablaze are seen as the stepping stone to success by Indian farmers. So much so that even amidst the pandemic India’s tractor sales are on an upward trajectory.
The sales of tractors reflect the good health of the farm sector apart from indicating that farmers are becoming more progressive in their approach.
An Economic Times report notes that “Mahindra’s farm equipment sales at least point to some sign of life in rural India, where 70% of the population live, and could be an encouraging sign for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he prises the economy open again.”
Apparently, the moral of this saga is that there is a new India which is surging ahead amidst all the hurdles, welcoming new trends and opportunities. In contrast, there is Congress which seems to be in a tearing hurry to burn everything to the ground in frustration, without offering anything constructive.