Of what I see and hear through the media about the farmer’s bills, it appears to me that there is something drastically wrong with these ordinances. Now it has become ‘Fait Accompli’ because the ‘ayes’ had it in both houses of Parliament. Then why are there so many ‘Noes’ from the directly affected people?

One heard a politician saying that ‘ninety lakhs’ farmers were consulted before drafting these bills. I have my doubts. Out of those ninety lakhs, none whatsoever are there around Delhi. Only the Government seems to be convinced that these laws are good. The one who actually does farming thinks otherwise. How many farmers were actually involved in drafting the bill? God knows or the government doesn’t want to tell.

One heard Ministers shooting from their hip about farmers involved in the Khalistan and Maoists movement. China backing them etc. Just because Mr Minister is a Minister, he cannot get away with false hoods. Why are ministers spreading such rumours? Your guess is as good as mine.

If they have the ‘intelligence’, then they should use the law to segregate such people. The farmers have outright rejected such allegations and are willing to cooperate to deal with such miscreants. The government’s spokespersons "lie" stands exposed outright. Farmers beware. Troublemakers may be planted to tarnish the image of peaceful protestors.

The resilience and the inbuilt immunity of these village folk to the virus and cold is commendable. They all have been toiling day and night in the fields and are quite strong to withstand anything. Just a sheet of plastic over their heads, they huddle together to beat both. They shall beat the government too.

The crux is that farmers have disallowed politicians and politics to hijack their protest. As things unfold, politicians are playing the ‘vultures game’, hovering and waiting for a weak animal to fall and then devour it. The herd immunity is what they will try to break by all means at their disposal. Mind you they are good at it.

Many of these protesting farmers are Veterans. They braved it out against the ‘real enemy’ in much harsher conditions. The present fight is for a ‘piece of paper’ which makes or mars their existence and sustenance. Succeed they shall, if they stand united and steadfast. All of them are seasoned enough. I am not a farmer but I do understand how a Roti comes to my table.

Today, I opened a packet of corn flakes which weighed 70 grams and cost twenty bucks. The way farmers are selling their produce is way below the MSP and the way we the consumers have to buy at such exorbitant prices needs a rethink. This ordinance doesn’t show how farmers would be protected but it definitely hints at those who shall be benefitted for obvious reasons.

What happens tomorrow if the common man cannot afford two chapatis? The poor will die hungry. The middle class will spend everything on buying food. What if the farmer doesn’t grow crops for subsequent seasons? The aam aadmi will then not be able to afford cereals, pulses and vegetables. Milk is already touching the roof. I hope we won’t go the Pakistani way, where the government has to fix the MSP of a tandoori roti.

Imagine these 500 odd elected members are actually holding this country of 130 crore Deshwasis to ransom. Just because they think they can bulldoze & arm twist their way through. Moment the results of the next elections are visible, they would back off and ‘repeal’ the ordinance. Hope they won’t take that long.

One session of Parliament, one word by the leader to say, ‘we withdraw it now & shall deliberate on it till the creases are ironed, now that we know whom exactly we have to deal with’. Farmers shall go back without any ado. However, people who drafted this ordinance need to be shaken up for not doing a thorough job.

Farmers have come well prepared logistically and mentally for a long haul. This government needs to end this impasse soon. Will the "ayes" change to "noes"? I wonder!

Cover Photograph HANAN ZAFFAR