We didn’t want to repeat the mistakes made by the Congress in 1984, says Dushyant Gautam

There are many reasons being put forward for the decision to repeal the farm laws. From electoral reasons to security concerns over what was perceived as a brewing resentment between Hindu and Sikh communities. Which reason do you ascribe for the Prime Minister Modi’s decision?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself said during his address to the nation that his intention behind bringing these Bills was to provide alternatives to the farmer for markets and fair remuneration, and that many of the things that were there in the farm laws were distilled from years of suggestions by other governments, political parties, agricultural scientists and economists on how to improve the situation of farmers. But as he himself said, we couldn’t convey all this to the farmers, and the way things were going at the protest sites, the atmosphere that was being created — the horrific murder of a Dalit, women were raped and killed, the Indian tricolour was dishonoured, it influenced the decision. Somewhere this also affected the bhaichara (brotherhood, amity) which existed in Punjab, where our people were not allowed to visit the bereaved, or even to boycotting our people at weddings etc. When we would explain the farm laws to smaller groups, and even steps taken by the Modi Government for ending the black list of those not allowed to enter the country since Punjab militancy days, to bring those guilty of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots to justice, to bring back the saroops of Shri Guru Granth Sahib from Afghanistan safely to India, the people would nod in agreement, but in larger groups they would speak a different language. We didn’t want to repeat the mistakes made by the Congress in 1984, where a whole community was alienated from the rest of the country and for the sake of “bhaichara” the repeal was announced. For us, the country and bhaichara is paramount.

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