You might have heard the term ‘silent majority’. This is the word that also explains the political success of Modi government to an extent. It is now becoming evident that this phenomenon called silent majority is coming out from the farm sector as well to support the amendments to farm laws brought in by the Modi government after protesting groups from Punjab initially created a perception that the whole farming community is against the farm laws.
Silent Majority – The Pattern in Perspective
The political support base of PM Modi may not be vocal all the time. They do create a fervor at election time but then go on about their duty. It is understandable, since PM Modi’s support base arguably shares the constructive approach like the one displayed by the leader they follow. The youth, women, and farmers of this country have voted for this government resoundingly. Then they subsume into their respective career domains because they have aspirations to meet and there is work to be done.
This means that they can’t be expected to come to the street to express their opinion on each and every issue. But the groups that are accustomed to getting their way by holding the public to ransom will do it frequently since it is akin to a mode of their survival. This display of “street power” often leads the opposition to believe that they may have their way. Alas! When push comes to shove, the “silent majority” emerges to shower its love and confidence on Modi government and its reform measures.
Is Silent Majority Among Farmers Speaking Up Now?
The answer seems to be in the affirmative, as more and more farmers organisations from across the nation are coming in support of the farm reforms, breaking the Punjab-centric narrative over farm reform laws. As discussed earlier, All India Kisan Coordination Committee under which 7,000 NGOs work has demanded not to roll back farm laws under any pressure.
A day after this meeting, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Kisan) from Uttar Pradesh has met the Union Minister for Agriculture and expressed their support to the farm laws.
Of Course, they had some demands within the ambit of reforms. Their issues were: farmers be given the option of going to Civil Courts in case of a dispute; the Panchayat head should be accorded the same importance as the head of the mandi to safeguard the rights of the farmers in small towns and villages; there should be mechanism to prevent hoarding and black marketing; electricity rates for irrigation should be reduced and electricity should be available for longer hours in the State of Uttar Pradesh; the standards for crops should be decided at the procurement centres so that farmers do not face any problem in selling the produce.
It should not be an issue with the government to find a way to deal with these issues, as their stand always has been that they are open to dialogue. But the protesting groups from Punjab are unilaterally dictating terms which is evidently not feasible to implement. But now, the pretence of Punjab-centric farm groups that they are the sole voice of farmers has taken a beating as the silent majority among farmers are slowly coming out in support of farm reforms.