Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his speech on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address in Rajya Sabha on Monday, said that most discussions on the farm laws revolved around the protests and not the laws. No one is talking about the reason behind the protests. “It would have been better if the discussions were held on the points of contention instead of protests,” he said.
Speaking of former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh, who is often hailed as the champion of peasants’, Modi said how he was always worried about the sad state of small farmers. Citing former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said, that those who are currently making U-turns on the farm laws, will at least agree with him.
“There are other rigidities because of the whole marketing regime setup in the 1930s which prevent our farmers from selling their produce where they get the highest rate of returns. It is our intention to remove all those handicaps which come in the way of India realizing its vast potential as one large common market,” Modi quoted Dr Singh.
Modi said that even the Congress leader and former Prime Minister talked about free market for farmers, which the current laws are providing. “Sharad Pawar ji, and those from Congress, everyone… all governments have stood for agricultural reforms. Whether they were able to do it or not, but everyone has advocated that it should be done. If you are crying that we were not consulted individually, then well, this is like a family and in every family there is an angry phoophaji (uncle) who is upset why I was not consulted,” he said.
He reiterated that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) will stay, as against the propaganda spread by the so-called farmer leaders.
He also spoke about the global conspiracy to defame India and said that Indian democracy is not a western institution but a human one. “Today it’s essential to warn citizens about the attacks on India’s nationalism,” he said.
Citing Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, he said, “India’s nationalism is neither narrow nor selfish and not even aggressive. This is inspired by the values of ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’.” He further said how sometimes, some people in India start cursing ourselves instead of feeling proud. “I sometimes get surprised, world gives us a term & we start following it – ‘Largest democracy of the world’. It feels good to hear this but we didn’t teach our youth that India is the mother of democracy,” PM Modi said.
Mocking the professional protestors, who have taken up protesting as a profession, PM Modi said that these ‘andolan jivis’ can be spotted wherever there is a protest, be it agitation by lawyers, students, or labourers, explicitly or implicitly. “They cannot live without ‘andolan’, we have to identify them and protect nation from them,” PM Modi said.