Rich farmers, global plots, local stupidity


The governance of the gulag: Barricading at Singhu border near farmers protest site, in New Delhi, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. PHOTO/PTI/Kamal Singh

It’s an astonishing achievement of this government that it has united a huge and unlikely spectrum of social forces, including some traditional adversaries.

Cutting off water and electricity to lakhs of human beings, exposing them to serious health hazards by doing so, having police and paramilitary barricade them into cut-off zones while imposing dangerously insanitary conditions on them, making it almost impossible for journalists to reach the protesting farmers, punishing a group that has already seen perhaps 200 of its own die, many from hypothermia, in the past two months. Anywhere in the world this would be seen as barbaric and an assault on human rights and dignity.

But we, our government and ruling elite are preoccupied with far more pressing concerns. Such as how to smash the conspiracy of dreaded global terrorists Rihanna and Greta Thunberg aimed at defaming and humiliating the greatest nation on earth.

As fiction, that would insanely funny. As reality, it’s merely insane.

While all of this is shocking, it should not be surprising. Even those who bought the slogan minimal government, maximum governance should have figured it out by now. The real deal was government muscular maximus and maximal gory governance. What is worrying is the studied silence of so many otherwise articulate voices, some of whom have never failed to spring to the defence of power and cheerlead all such laws. You’d think even they would disapprove this everyday trashing of democracy.

Every single member of the Union cabinet knows what really stands in the way of a resolution to the ongoing farmer protests.

They know there was never any consultation with the farmers on the three laws – though the peasants were seeking it from the day they knew these were being promulgated as ordinances.

There was never any consultation with the states in the making of these laws – though agriculture is in the state list in the constitution. Nor was there any with opposition parties, or within parliament itself.

Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and Union cabinet members know there were no consultations – because they were never consulted themselves. Neither on this, nor on most other critical issues. Their task is to roll back the waves of the ocean when so ordered by their leader.

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