Sometimes when a very powerful person in the family has become unreasonably adamant and is not listening to the good advice coming from several sides, then it is the duty of family members themselves to come forward and convince the powerful member of the family to stop being adamant and accept the good advice that is coming from many well-intentioned and experienced persons.
The powerful person who has brushed aside all other advice may just listen to the family members whom he trusts as their own, particularly if the family members manage to convince the powerful member that this adamancy is proving very harmful for all concerned and even for himself and his own family.
This analogy is particularly appropriate in the present context to appeal to members of the Sangh Parivar to prevail upon the Prime Minister, who is also a very powerful member of course of the Sangh Parivar ( the larger RSS family), to give up his adamant attitude of persisting with the three contentious farm laws which are being opposed very strongly by farmers and also other sections over vast parts of the country. Sections of the sangh parivar, including its main farmer front and Swadeshi Jagran Manch have already expressed their serious reservations about aspects of these laws. Now they and other parts of the sangh parivar need to take this further and press for the repeal of the three laws, as demanded by the growing farmers’ movement and supported by many independent experts, including experts who have served leading government institutions in senior capacity in the past.
Sections of the sangh parivar already have a past record of saying that growing corporatization of farming sector has been harmful and comes in the way of benefiting from accumulated wisdom of traditional farming systems. They have said that they stand for protecting the interests of small farmers and small traders from the dominance of big companies, whether foreign or Indian. Clearly the three controversial farm laws need to be opposed from this perspective. A clause by clause discussion is not as relevant as the overall direction in which these laws push—towards contract farming controlled by big business, hoarding and profiteering in food, increasing dominance of big business in farming and food sector. On the basis of its past stated stand, organizations like Swadeshi Jagran Manch should be in the forefront of opposing the drift towards contract farming and increasing prospects of profiteering and hoarding by powerful big corporate interests, so why are they not coming forward in a big way to ask for the repeal of the three laws?
The Sangh Parivar has said in the past that for it the national interests are bigger than the interests of any one political party. The present context is a time when this assertion could be tested, and the clear evidence so far is that the sangh parivar has failed to stand up adequately for the wider national interest when it can clearly afford to do so.
As a result of the wide democratic debate in the country it is amply clear by now that the three controversial farm laws will worsen the existing farming crisis and rural crisis (the result of several complex factors and distorted policies). So the country is thankful to the protesting farmers for pressing the issue with a strong and courageous movement. Now it has reached a stage where it will be extremely sad and tragic, not just for the protesting farmers but also for the wider national interest, if the farmers are forced to return on a note of resentment rather than happiness. Apart from the rationality and real need of the main demand of the repeal of the three farm laws, the larger national interest now demands that the story should end on a note of happiness and not resentment for farmers. Their emphasis on slogan of Jai Jawan Jai Kisan has its own meaning and message which all wise persons will understand.
Clearly there is a very strong case for the Sangh Parivar to convince the government regarding the need to repeal the three farm laws. If the sangh parivar performs this role effectively it will be an important achievement. If it fails to live up to this responsibility, it will be perceived to have ignored the national interests for selfish and narrow ends.
Bharat Dogra is a veteran journalist and author. His recent books include Planet in Peril, Man Over Machine and Protecting Earth for Children.