The RSS feared that the agitation of the farmers would have an impact on social cohesion

The government’s decision to repeal the three controversial farm laws was also informed by RSS comments from the field that continued protests against them were having a negative impact on social cohesion. The Sangh Parivar, according to sources, was particularly worried about what he believed could translate into a chasm between Hindus and Sikhs.

While the Sangh has never openly opposed agricultural laws in their entirety or supported the idea of ​​their repeal, for nearly a year he has hinted at the government about its unease over the inability of the Center to solve the problem.

In a February interview with The Indian Express, then RSS General Secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi made it clear that the Sangh were concerned about the impact of the protests on social cohesion.

“Any prolonged agitation is not beneficial. No one should have a problem with an ongoing fuss. But we have to find a happy medium. A turmoil not only affects the people associated with it, but also impacts society, directly or indirectly. It is not good for the health of society for any unrest to go on for too long. Common ground must therefore be found and both parties must work to find a solution, ”Joshi said while stressing that such laws are not repealed in any country.

Notably, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, who supported agricultural laws in his October 2020 speech to Vijaydashmi, avoided the issue in his 2021 speech. Vijaydashmi’s speech from the RSS chief is seen as a political signal. to the government. Even the resolutions of Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha and Akhil Bharatiya Karyakarini Mandal – the two supreme decision-making bodies of the RSS – have not addressed the subject this year.

The BPS – 2021 annual report published in March of this year, however, addressed the subject. While stressing that anti-national and anti-social forces were not letting a solution pass, the report said, “It is not in anyone’s best interest for any unrest to go on for a long time. Discussions are essential, but in order to find a solution. It is possible that not all questions will be accepted, but it is essential that some agreements be reached. “

Even in his speech by Vijaydashmi in 2020, Bhagwat emphasized “self-reliance” in agriculture.

“In self-reliance, self-reliance is supposed… new policies should aim to make our farmer aware of modern agricultural science and also enable him to combine this knowledge with proven and contextually relevant traditional knowledge. Policies should be such that a farmer should be able to use these research findings and sell their products without being trapped, either in for-profit interpretations of these findings or in industry-sponsored research. companies or under pressure from market forces and intermediaries, only then will such a policy be compatible with Bharatiya’s point of view and be a true Swadeshi agrarian policy, ”Bhagwat said.

RSS sources said the continued unrest, leading to the deaths of several farmers and precipitating the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, had now started to worry the BJP politically as well. “The feedback from the field was that in at least 20 constituencies in the west of the UP, where there is a large population of Sikhs and Jaats, there was going to be a negative impact of the farmers’ unrest. and the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. In our meetings with workers and leaders, we told them not to use harsh words for Sikhs and Jaats during election campaigns, ”said a senior RSS official.

The Sanghs, however, are more concerned about the long-term implications of the dispute between the government and the Sikhs over agricultural laws. “The Sangh are concerned about the feeling of alienation that Sikhs have started to feel over the past year. We are working on reviving the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, which was formed as a result of developments in the Punjab in the 1980s. The divide between Hindus and Sikhs had widened by this time and the sangat had done a lot of work to bridge it. Another senior RSS official said.

Notably, the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, an RSS affiliated organization dealing with farmers’ issues, had always supported agricultural laws, but never in full. In September last year, before two key bills related to agricultural products and price insurance were passed by Rajya Sabha for adoption, BKS said the bills in their current form were not acceptable.

The thrust of the BKS suggestions then was that all traders should buy farmers’ products at least the Minimum Support Price (MSP). BKS even requested that the bills be sent to the Standing Committee for proper discussion. He had asked the government either to incorporate the insured PSM into the bills, or to bring in another law. However, both bills were passed without incorporating his suggestions.

In its letters to Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, the BKS then indicated that it doubted that the ordinance brought by the government fulfills the objective of providing farmers with a fair price for their products.

After the Prime Minister announced the repeal of the laws on Friday, BKS said: “The government’s decision to repeal the three farm laws is a good step in the direction of postponing unnecessary controversy. Due to the stubborn attitude of so-called farmers, it will hurt farmers in the long run. Small and medium-sized farmers would have benefited if these laws had been changed.

BKS also reiterated its demand to guarantee the MSP under the law.

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