[Editorial Analysis] Seeds of hope

Mains Paper 3: Economy
Prelims level: Farm laws
Mains level: Agriculture

Context:

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done the right thing by announcing the repeal of the three farm laws that are at the centre of a protracted confrontation between his government and a section of farmers for a year.

Few more problems:

• Fear among farmers: They would have redesigned the country’s food procurement and distribution mechanisms, triggering fears that the producers and consumers would be adversely affected, to the benefit of big companies.

• Undemocratic manner of introduction: the manner in which these laws were brought about, through ordinances, and passed in Parliament without deliberations, or consultations with the States.

Significance of the withdrawal of decision:

• Flexibility is not a bad trait in democracy, which is about constant negotiations, but it should not be merely political expediency.

• First example of yielding against agitators: The agitators were socially dominant, and economically and politically powerful groups whose hostility the BJP found difficult to handle. This should be an occasion for the Government to revisit its general attitude towards protest mobilisation.

• Tactics of branding political opponents as anti-national failed: The reflex of the current dispensation has been to paint opponents and critics as traitors or anti-nationals — a tactic that was tried even in the case of the farmers.

Way forward:

• Paves way for consultative decision making: This would always be more sustainable and easier to enforce.

• There still is a need for farm reforms: Their repeal does not invalidate the urgent case for reforms in the agriculture sector, in which incentive mechanisms are skewed, and environmental costs are unsustainable.

Conclusion:

• The repeal of the farm laws has, at least temporarily, put an end to an ugly and eminently avoidable chapter of confrontation between the Union government and the farmers. However, the momentum that the agitation has left behind would surely linger on.

• The agitation has led to politicisation of several agrarian demands, including the need for stable markets and remunerative prices. Confidence has grown that committed struggles matter and even aggressive governments can be made to kneel.

• New rural mobilisations around demands to address the larger and persistent agrarian crisis are likely to emerge and grow. We surely are in for interesting times.

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Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to the critical noise treatment algorithm, consider the following statements:

1. It can help to study the environment of exoplanets with better precision.

2. It was developed by NASA Scientists.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: A

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