Friday, December 1, 2023

Farm laws repealed: Precedent set for undermining parliamentary mandate?

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The rollback of the three controversial farm laws by the Modi government has seemingly brought it on the back foot in the eyes of many of its supporters and critics alike. While a faction of Modi supporters suggest this has been done keeping in view the national security, the other faction believes it was a move to please voters from western UP and Haryana, particularly Jats. However, many political commentators and those from within the BJP, as well, fear that this will set a precedent for a parliamentary mandate to be overturned by pressure groups.

Today’s development has sparked discussion on what the future holds for other contentious laws, and amendments brought by the current regime. After the rollback of the farm laws, there has been a renewed demand for the repeal of the CAA, and the stringent UAPA, from the usual detractors of the BJP government. CPI(ML)’s student arm, All India Students’ Association’s(AISA) UP state committee tweeted, “Farmers Win! We express our heartiest joy and solidarity to the farmers over this victory and seek to draw inspiration to intensify the movement for the repeal of CAA-NRC-NPR, Labour Codes, NEP and UAPA with renewed energy and vigour.” Notably, the outfit has also demanded the scrapping of the National Education Policy(NEP) that has been largely hailed as progressive by academic experts.


Arfa Khanum Sherwani, senior editor of The Wire, tweeted, “Modi ji, you owe one more apology. The people opposing CAA & NRC are also the citizens of this country. Repeal CAA-NRC. Release everyone held wrongfully under the UAPA. This will be your real penance.” Sherwani,  who has been an outspoken critic of the Sangh Parivar and is known for her frequent attacks on the BJP, had been very vocal in supporting protests across the nation against the amendments to the Citizenship Act(1955).


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