31 July, 2021

Rustics Reject Serfdom

Agrarian India has raised an existential issue. Let’s address it.

Photograph by Suresh K. Pandey
Rustics Reject Serfdom

The Supreme Court has stayed the farm laws. The government is offering an 18-month ­moratorium on its ­implementation. However, the farmers are not budging or backing down. The protests sites are, in fact, attracting larger crowds. The more the government tries to ­browbeat farmers by misusing the State’s coercive instruments, the more the ­resistance would grow and the fire spread.

There is clearly a breakdown of trust. Agrarian India no longer trusts the government and other institutions of the State, which face the gravest challenge to their ­legitimacy as the hollowing out over the past six-and-a-half years has left them ­bereft of credibility. And the manner in which politicians have been hooted and ­virtually chased out from the protest sites should make them reflect on their social standing if not trustworthiness.

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