SRINAGAR: Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s, announcing the Government of India's decision to repeal all the three farmer laws has empowered hearts of some politicians in Jammu and Kashmir with the hope that he may opt for such a munificence also towards winning over all those people who were alienated by its August 5, 2019 contentious moves.
But several political watchers this newspaper spoke on Friday termed it as their wishful thinking or, at least, hoping against hope. The passing of farmer laws by the Parliament, they asserted, was necessarily an administrative decision designed to modernise agricultural sector and these are being repealed for possible electoral gains by the ruling dispensation in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. In contrast, the abrogation of Article 370 had been deep-rooted in the RSS-BJP agenda and the same was done also with a view to strengthen the BJP's constituency and improve its prospects in future elections.
“It is qualitatively a different scheme…so far as the farm laws are concerned they were not ideologically grounded in the BJP or Sangh Parivar. Also, they were seen as unpopular in many places and repealing them is being done for electoral consideration. You can’t discount the widespread and strong resentment shown by the farmers either”, said analyst Prof. Noor Ahmed Baba.
He also said, “On the other hand, the removal of Article 370 ran in the core of their ideology, was rooted in their manifesto and motion of nationalism besides has electoral dividend for them and, therefore, those who think Modi may rescind the August 5, 2019 decision are only hoping against hope”. He said that moreover the resentment shown by the vast sections of famers was completely missing in the J&K parties and leaders’ opposition to the abrogation of Article 370.
However, National Conference (NC) Member Parliament and former high court judge Hasnain Masoodi sees in the Prime Minister’s abrupt announcement on the farms laws as a “clear shift from politics of arrogance to one of introspection and reappraisal” and, therefore, expecting the government to revoke the August 5 decisions or allow the Supreme Court to do it to evade embarrassment and sense of defeat cannot be ruled out.
The hope is reflected in the fresh entreaty he made on Friday. He said, “The August 5, 2019 decisions are unconstitutional by virtue of which J&K was stripped of its special constitutional status, fragmented and downgraded from State to Union Territory. The government must not only revoke those decisions but also the J&K Reorganisation Act and other laws brought since”.
“The decision to withdraw the three controversial farm laws after unreasonably defending and justifying these for one long year unmindful of the widespread outrage and 800 farmers deaths and huge loss to the property is a clear shift from politics of arrogance to one of introspection and reappraisal,” he said adding “It also depicts a realisation on part of the Prime Minister and Central Government that before pushing through on the strength of majority legislation on important issues, the proposed legislation, in tune with the well-established democratic practices, should be placed in public domain for wider discussion and deliberations at pre-legislation stage.”
He asserted, “The decision also teaches us that there is nothing like ‘hands of a clock cannot be moved back’. Decisions taken can always be given a fresh look whenever the circumstances, so demand and it applies to J&K as well.”
He said he wanted to convey to the Prime Minister that, like farm laws, the August 5, 2019 decisions have resulted in death and destruction, uncertainty, and large-scale discontent. “The decisions as admitted by the Prime Minister have widened the gulf between people of Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh and the rest of the Country. These have also caused a huge drain on precious and scarce resources of the country that rightfully belong to the millions of underprivileged and disempowered countrymen.”
He urged Modi to restore the August 4, 2019 position in J&K and thereafter facilitate internal dialogue amongst the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and also initiate a wider dialogue for durable peace in the region. He appealed to the political parties and civil society groups at the national level to support “just cause and political aspirations” of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh like they extended unwavering support to the farmer’s struggle and support the demand for undoing the August 5, 2019 decisions.
He asserted, “The farmers long drawn struggle has also a lesson for people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and political parties that steadfastness, perseverance and unity and not short term political gains, ultimately help us to succeed in our struggle for realisation of genuine political goals even when faced with arrogance, and resistance.”...