Towards the end of 2020, the Centre had brought in three contentious farm bills. Passed in Parliament amid massive protests, the laws have since evoked an outcry from farmers across the country. Over a dozen rounds of talks with the Centre have failed to resolve the deadlock, and more than two months later, thousands of farmers continue to camp outside Delhi’s borders.
The farmers remain insistent that the laws be repealed. While the government has offered to put the laws on hold for up to 18 months and make amendments, this does not seem to be something the Centre is willing to do. BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy on Friday said that he had sent Prime Minister Narendra Modi his ideas on a possible solution to the ongoing farmers’ protests in the country over the three contentious agri laws passed recently by the central government.
Swamy offered ‘three rules’ that may be included in the framing of the three farm laws in contention, which meet the demand of those opposing it as well as have the potential to terminate the agitations.
First and foremost, a rule is needed stating that the implementation of the agri laws will only be limited to the states willing to accept it. This means that the laws need not be mandatorily implemented nationwide, but, those states where farmers are willing to embrace the agricultural reforms, could offer their willingness in writing to the central government, following which the farm acts will be implemented across the said states.
The second rule should entail that every state would be eligible for a Minimum Support Price (MSP) in perpetuity, as is the demand of those protesting against the farm laws at the borders of the national capital. Third, there should be a rule ensuring that the buying of food grains is limited to only those who have no other major commercial or business interests other than agricultural trade.
The farmers’ protests have now reached a level where it is gaining international attention, as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights or OHCHR on Friday called on both the government and the demonstrators to exercise maximum restraint. “We call on the authorities and protesters to exercise maximum restraint in ongoing #FarmersProtests. The rights to peaceful assembly & expression should be protected both offline & online. It’s crucial to find equitable solutions with due respect to #HumanRights for all,” the OHCHR tweeted.