Dear Editor,Farmers are protesting all over the country to protect their interests against the new farm bills passed by the Union Govt. Although the Govt is trying to take the farmers into confidence but the farmers are adamant on the issue of weakening the power of APMCs. They are of opinion that it will snatch the option to farmers to sell their produce to Govt on MSP and farmers will have to sell their produce to corporate sector at fixed prices.In a way Modi Govt is making a ground to switch over to corporate farming with the twin objective of relieving Govt of MSP affairs and for innovative agricultural growth as the corporate sector will infuse technology and money to get the crops of their choice. The question now is whether India is ready to switch over to corporate sector controlled agriculture.Majority of the Indian farmers have small landholdings. Corporate sector can provide help to large landholders since they can go for production in bulk. The small and marginal landholders will further deteriorate as unlike earlier regime where Govt buy their crops, no one will come forward to buy their crops on a fixed price.Earlier we have seen that when Govt introduced green revolution in 1960s the land reforms were overlooked as green revolution is more suitable to large landholdings. In a country where 49 percent of population engaged in agricultural activities and majority of those holds less than 2 hectares of land it will not be fruitful to go for corporate farming.Moreover, the credibility of corporate sector is also under scanner. The American sociologist C Wright Mills in his work The Power Elite argues that business and government cannot now be seen as two distinct worlds . He referred to political leaders as lieutenants of the economic elite and claimed their decisions systematically favoured the interests of the giant corporations. According to Mills the economic, military and political power constituted the power elite which dominated the American society and took major decisions of national and international importance.Although he wrote all this in context to American society but same can be applied to the socio-political domain of India as a developing economy.Now let us come at the present issue, we in India need to protect the interests of small landholders and this can be only provided by the Govt as they were doing earlier by providing them Agricultural produce market committee and MSPs. The govt shouldn’t keep their future at stake. Our farmers are ignorant and know only to earn by the sweat of their brow. They cannot understand the cumbersome terms and conditions of the giant corporations. They need Government’s helping hand to uplift them and the Govt cannot escape from this responsibility.Nirmal Singh Chib,Jammu.
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