On 17th December, the Supreme Court of India proposed the setting up of a panel consisting of representatives of the government and of the Kisan Andolan. The creation of such a mechanism would allegedly lead to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the Kisan Andolan and the Central Government. The Supreme Court has proposed that the implementation of the three laws be withheld temporarily and the protests be allowed to continue, provided they do not affect “citizens’ right of movement”. The Court was responding to certain petitions seeking removal of the peasants’ protests at the borders of Delhi. Petitions have also been submitted that a central law affecting agriculture, which is a state subject, violates the Constitution. The Court is yet to deal with those petitions.
The agitating peasants have responded by pointing out that such a panel should have been formed before the laws were framed. The Kisan Andolan has stated that any new panel could be considered only after all the three laws are repealed.
The protesting peasants and their organisations are convinced that these three laws have been brought in for the sole purpose of enriching the biggest monopoly corporate houses. While they will initially offer some temporary benefits, once the monopolies have captured the lion’s share of the market, they will squeeze the peasants and completely enslave them, like the East India Company did with our forefathers. The fact that the associations of the biggest monopoly capitalists such as the FICCI and ASSOCHAM have openly defended the government for passing these laws and called on the government to not relent, has only enhanced this conviction. Addressing FICCI members, former FICCI president and Vice-Chairman of Bharti Enterprises Rajan Bharti Mittal promised all help to the government in its fight against the peasants with the assurance, “please don’t step back. The industry will back you up.”
The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde, observed that the government’s “negotiations have not worked apparently. It is bound to fail”. However, it did not ask the government to explain the reasons why it remains adamant in not heeding the demand of the Kisan Andolan, which has the full support of workers, peasants and progressive intellectuals all over the country.
The government remains unrelenting in the face of the protests and is unwilling to concede the demand of the peasants. It has invited the peasants’ leaders to ‘talks’, only to suggest minor amendments, clearly showing that it is not at all serious about paying any heed to the concerns of the peasants. On the contrary, the PM and other ministers of the central government, aided by certain sections of the media, have been carrying on a campaign that the peasants are ‘misinformed’, that they are ‘misled’ by opposition parties, that these laws are actually in the interests of the peasants. At the same time, spokespersons of the government and certain media houses are doing their utmost to vilify the peasants’ agitation, branding them as “extremists”, “khalistanis” and “anti-nationals”. They are trying to sow disunity among the peasants. But their attempts have failed. The peasants remain united and resolute in their demand that the laws should be repealed.
Noting that several rounds of talks led by central ministers have not led to any resolution of the conflict, the monopoly capitalists who head the ruling class decided that some other mechanism should be established, aimed at pacifying the peasants and making them give up their demand for repealing all three laws.
The proposals of the Supreme Court amount to nothing more than an attempt to enable the government to buy time, while continuing its diabolical attempts to discredit the peasants, break their unity and wear down their resolve, by forcing them to endure the harsh winter conditions outdoors at the protest sites.
The executive as well as the judiciary are instruments for imposing the dictate of the capitalist monopoly houses, Indian and international. This is the truth which stands revealed by the proposal of the Supreme Court on the anti-peasant laws.