According to reports, Bharatiya Kisan Union has moved the Supreme Court challenging the farm laws. The reason it has majorly cited in the petition is the ‘fear of corporate greed’. According to India Today report, “In the petition, the BKU(B) has alleged that the farm laws will “pave way for cartelisation and commercialisation of agriculture,” and will make farmers “vulnerable to corporate greed.”
Since the government was ready to make a written commitment on MSP with the APMC system intact, this particular claim of farmers’ union of corporates monopolising agriculture and exploiting farmers has no facts to back it. The law has specified that companies can’t take control on farmers’ land in any kind of eventuality.
If these are the facts that simply show the fear of corporate greed being a casae of a vivid imagination, social media discussions are pointing towards old reports that show how some of the prominent unions have said the exact opposite things.
An old tweet from Bharat Kisan Union is the much-quoted instance now-a-days. Back in 2008, leaders of the farmers’ union were demanding government allow corporates to procure wheat. To quote them from the report, they asked-
“Why should the farmers suffer losses by selling their produce at the lower rates to the government agencies? The market forces, not politics, should allow to rule.”
Sharing old news of the struggle of BKU in the past. pic.twitter.com/kxZI3EJbSh
— Bhartiya Kisan Union (@BKU_KisanUnion) April 19, 2019
In any case, under the new laws, farmers are not compelled to sell their produce to corporates. They can still sell to the local mandi and the assurance has been given for the umpteen times that the MSP will continue.
Another reservation that is now being expressed by some unions is that sufficient consultation with stakeholders did not take place before bringing these laws. These farm reforms have been in discussion for at least a decade and even the governments before the Modi government have tried to implement some amendments. So, the claim that the laws were brought in a hurry doesn’t cut the ice.
The government has also stated that it reached out to farmers at the grassroots and conducted webinars and training sessions apart from making farmers aware about the reforms via the SMS mode. Between June to November 2020, it reached out to 92,42,376 farmers through 1,37,054 webinar sessions.
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