Showing posts with label agriculture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label agriculture. Show all posts

Feb 22, 2021

An existential threat to Indian farmers

Farmers protest at the Delhi Singhu border in Delhi, India. Getty images
These ongoing protests of Indian Punjab farmers are just implications of what a far-right Hindu nationalist government would offer to its people. In hoping to reboot the economy, the government has passed laws that is, in someway, a form of dispossession and control over agricultural lands to which farmers have special relationship. These bills, that were introduced and passed by the parliament last year and then signed into laws are tailored to only benefit giant corporations while lacking any sustainable, ecological, social and economic integrity. 

What these laws would basically do is to replace the market that is ran and protected by committees of traders and land owners with a free market where farmers will have neither control over the circulation of their products, nor the market values. In the long run, this would result to self-indenturement of farmers to billionaires sitting in Delhi and buying stocks in the US. 

And there is always IMF as a hegemonic force from outside that offers its prescriptions. It is always there to advocate and support any offense a government commits against its citizen. It does not only co-opting neoliberal elites for enforcing their ideals but also crafting and promoting hegemonic norms, especially in developing countries where they are left with no choice but unconditional surrender.

The worse part of these laws is that it does not offer any future to farmers who may eventually lose control over their lands. Right now, millions of people work on farms, what will happen to them when their farms are taken by corporations? It is obvious that they will be replaced by a reduced number of workforce that’s also cheap, and that is what big corporations always do otherwise they can’t make surplus profit. At the time when the India's unemployment is at its highest rate, what opportunities will be available to these farmers who have no other skills than farming? There is not much prospect that these laws would do anything positive but to harm and exploit the lands whose farmers’ livelihood depends upon.