What is the lesson for the government?
The biggest lesson for the government in this entire development is that it should work with consensus in accordance with the spirit of the democratic system. The first and foremost lesson for the government is that before enacting a law, it should seek the opinion of the parties concerned and try to achieve maximum consensus. Others, Let the Standing Committees of the Ministry concerned to consider it. third, Let there be an open and frank debate on the laws in Parliament and if consensus is not reached, then try to remove the disagreement by sending it to the Common Select Committee of the Parliament. This has been happening in the past in the country.
The ruckus raised by the announcement of withdrawal of disputed agricultural laws is not over yet. Farmers are still sitting on dharna on the Delhi border and at different places in Punjab-Haryana. They are waiting for the constitutional process of withdrawal of laws to be completed. The government is waiting for him to end his dharna and return home so that the deadlock that has been going on for the last one year ends. Although the farmers have put some other demands in front of the government, but the government has taken such a big decision to withdraw the laws, then it should be expected that the rest of the demands will also be accepted and the farmers’ movement will end. So, the big question after that is what lesson has the government learned from this whole incident and will the government remember that lesson?
It is being said in social media and many educated, learned and committed people are also saying with great enthusiasm that the government has got a lesson that farmers should not collide. It is also being reminded that even before this, farmers had forced the Narendra Modi government to withdraw the ordinance to change the land acquisition law. That is, the farmers forced the Modi government to retreat twice, so they should not collide with the farmers. It is okay not to collide with farmers, but why should the government collide with other groups or even any citizen of the country? Is it justified to collide and suppress the government with those who are not organized like farmers, who do not have the power to back the government, who do not have a strong vote bank? By this logic, the amendment in the Citizenship Act i.e. CAA will be justified because the movement on that issue ended and the government did not back down! If governments act on this logic or if this logic is given prominence in popular discourse, then it will increase the challenges for common citizens, marginalized societies, backward, dalit, tribal and minority communities.
So, the biggest lesson for the government in this whole development is that it should work with consensus in accordance with the spirit of the democratic system. It must necessarily consult with the groups or communities for which it is making laws. He should also strike a consensus or at least try to reach a consensus with all the opposition parties. The government should follow the parliamentary procedure with due respect. The government should make laws keeping in mind the interests of all the people or maximum people. Above all, the intention of the government should be clear and the motive should be very clear. In the case of agricultural laws, none of this was done. Neither the consensus was reached in consultation with the farmers’ organizations nor the opposition was taken into confidence nor the parliamentary procedure was followed properly.
Don’t know why the government didn’t take a lesson from the law revoking Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir? Right under compulsion, but that law was agreed upon in the Parliament. Most or almost all parties either supported the government on that issue or remained silent. This is the reason that barring a very small group, no one opposed that law. It can be said that it was always an emotional issue for the whole country and it was not making any difference to the lives of common people, so that law became easily acceptable. Agricultural laws were different from that, then why couldn’t they be made easily acceptable? If the intention of the government regarding these laws was clear, then why did it not pay heed to the objections being raised on the draft laws and why did they not allow it to be debated in Parliament? The government had forcefully passed these laws in the Rajya Sabha, rejecting the opposition’s demand for voting.
So, the first and foremost lesson for the government is that before enacting a law, it should seek the opinion of the parties concerned and try to achieve maximum consensus. Secondly, let the Standing Committees of the Ministry concerned consider it. Thirdly, let there be an open and frank debate on laws in the Parliament and if consensus is not reached, then try to remove the disagreement by sending it to the Common Select Committee of the Parliament. This has been happening in the past in the country. But unfortunately in the 17th ie in the current Lok Sabha, only 10-12 percent of the bills are being discussed in the Parliament and the rest of the bills are being passed by the government without discussion and on the strength of its thumping majority.
After this, there is also a lesson for the government that its troll army and the ruling party can defame the opposition, but it is also difficult for it to defame the civil society. The Kisan Andolan has exposed the limitations of the IT cell, the troll army and the committed media. Even with the joint efforts of these three, the peasant movement could not be discredited and neither could more hatred be created in the minds of the common people towards them. There is also a lesson for the government that it should be flexible. In the case of farmers, the government finally bowed down but it took more than a year and during this seven hundred farmers died. Thousands of farmers endured thousands of difficulties and thousands of crores of rupees were lost. Due to the agitation, the roads were blocked, due to which the common people also had to bear the brunt.
A lesson for the government is that it must understand and accept the power of mass movement in a democracy. He should understand that having a majority in Parliament is not everything. The government should be the first to listen to the voices of dissent. If the Manmohan Singh government had not heeded Anna Hazare’s January 2011 warning of a dharna at Jantar Mantar or had taken his letters seriously, perhaps his government would not have been in the plight of what happened. In the same way, if Narendra Modi had heard the voices of dissent on agricultural laws in time, then there would not have been so much trouble.