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For farmers

R

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the controversial farm laws for now and said that a committee would be formed to take over negotiations to end the massive farmer protests near Delhi that have been going on for many months now. While staying the laws temporarily, the Chief Justice SA Bobde said that “these are matters of life and death”. The CJ said that the apex court was concerned with laws, and with the lives and property of people affected by the agitation. The court said that it was trying to solve the problem in the best way and one of the powers it has is to suspend the legislation. The farmer leaders meanwhile welcomed the Supreme Court order to stay the implementation of three farm laws but said they would not call off their protest until the legislations are repealed. The Sankyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of around 40 protesting farmer unions, called a meeting to decide the next course of action. The farmer leaders said they are not willing to participate in any proceedings before a committee appointed by the Supreme Court, but a formal decision on this will be taken by the Morcha. Tuesday’s development is a major landmark in the humanitarian issue that has seen thousands of farmers protesting peacefully on roads, far away from their homes and hearths in a bid to make the government recall the controversial laws. Many view the SC verdict as a victory for the protesting farmers who have not given up despite facing enormous pressure from the powers that be who wanted to paint the protest in different colours to dilute the real demand of those who feed the entire country. The farmers have set up examples of brotherhood, harmony, and peaceful use of their right to protest against the laws they claim are not in the best interests of the entire farming community. The farmers defied the social media troll armies who were hell bent on defaming them and tried their best to inject conspiracy theories in digital and public discourse to demean the farmers. While the Supreme Court move favours the farmers for now, one can also determine from it a breather that the government has been provided to rethink about what it must do next. In fact, reports quoting farmers said that they viewed the apex court’s verdict as a means for the government to bring a committee and that it was just a way to “divert attention.” The farmers said they would go ahead with their planned protest in Delhi on January 26, the republic day, despite the Supreme Court’s notice. The government had expressed concern about “an embarrassment to the nation” if the protests disrupted the Republic Day parade. While on the face of it, it seems that the government is caught between a rock and a hard place, one can but wait to see how this decision to hold back the laws, and form a committee will unfold in the coming weeks. Whatever the aftermath be, one suggests that the Centre takes a step backward and views this issue with more wisdom to reach a new conclusion that is beneficial to all, especially the farming community.