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Farm law win

I don’t often send issues on the weekend, but sometimes, history takes you by surprise. This issue is about the withdrawal of the farm laws that the Prime Minister announced on November 19 and why, even though there is reason for cynicism and suspicion, we should not drown in it.

Hariyali aur rasta
Vimoh ⚡
This is the single greatest blow to Modi in his entire career. For a man obsessed with image, having to bow down before an agitating public must be a shame greater than anything else. Hearty congratulations to the farmers and tributes to the ones who died fighting the Farm Laws.
The declaration to withdraw the farm laws should be seen in light of the upcoming elections in four states, but what also needs to be understood that the finance minister did not know about demonetisation. A lot of this govt’s decisions are made unilaterally, by one or two men.
At the most fundamental level, and with all the finer points, this is a victory for civil protest and a defeat of gundagardi. The protesters were under attack from day one. Roads were dug up, words like “terrorist” and “Khalistani” were thrown at them, lapdog media was brought in to defame them and their intentions, international figures who stood in their support got FIRs filed against them, many were jailed and many lost their lives.
This was a brute force attack done with no regard for electoral outcome. This is why, now that an election is on its way, we must resist the temptation to consider this decision ONLY a result of poll considerations. Sure, they polls may have fuelled the decision.
But there have been other polls while the protest has been on and none of them loosened up the government. The success of the farmers’ protest is a testament to patience and the power of the people. To say “they only took it back because UP elections are coming” is to devalue all else that this protest has done and all else the protesters have suffered. The withdrawal of the farm laws is a failure of the gundagardi mode of governance where the powerful think they can brazen their way out of civil crises. It’s a body blow to the “fasaa denge maar denge” brand of politics. It’s proof that people don’t exist to obey governments and that governments exist to obey the people.
I know a lot of us are embattled and looking to find ways that this might be a ruse for something even more sinister. You have good reason for being suspicious. But take a moment to breathe please. Enjoy the win even if you don’t take your gloves off. Hugs to all.
Thanks for reading Artless!
Artlerss is a newsletter about contemporary India that believes celebrating civil victories is part of the fight against tyranny. If you like it, you can support it with a donation here. I’ll see you in the next one!
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