Farm Agitation: Rahul Gandhi Says Modi Stealing Farmers’ Money

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressing media persons about new farm laws of Modi government in New Delhi on December 24, 2020. Photo: Congress
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressing media persons about new farm laws of Modi government in New Delhi on December 24, 2020. Photo: Congress

Under the Modi government, the already deformed democracy in the country has become a plutocracy or perhaps kleptocracy (the rule by thieves) controlled by the corporate bigwigs who hobnob with Modi.

By Rakesh Raman

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said today that Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has stopped listening to the people of India – which has led to the end of democracy in the country.

Replying to a question in an impromptu press interaction, Rahul Gandhi said if you think India is a democratic country it is in your imagination while Modi has destroyed democracy.

The Congress leader was speaking today (December 24) after submitting a representation to President Ram Nath Kovind that demands the repeal of contentious farm laws announced in September by the Modi government.

The Congress delegation comprising party workers and senior leaders also demanded a joint session of parliament to discuss the new farm laws, which – according to opposition parties – were passed without following the parliamentary procedures.

In September, Members of Parliament (MPs) in India protested in the Parliament complex against the new farm laws announced by the government. Calling them anti-farmer Bills, the opposition MPs asserted that the Bills were passed by the Modi government in an undemocratic way.

Now it is a known fact that under Modi’s authoritarianism, India has almost lost its status as a democracy. The dive in press freedom, attacks on the opposition, and increasing repression of civil society associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Modi are among the factors that India is on the verge of losing its status as a democracy.

These are among the findings of a new research reportAutocratization Surges–Resistance Grows Democracy Report 2020” released by the V-Dem Institute in Sweden.

FARM AGITATION

Now farmers – along with most other Indians – are the victims of the Modi government’s oppression. Hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers have been protesting on the outskirts of Delhi since November 27 against the new farm laws introduced by the Modi government. While farmers expect the government to repeal the contentious laws, the government has refused to accept farmers’ demands.

According to estimates, nearly 300,000 protesters – mainly from the Punjab state – have been camping on all sides of Delhi. As the protests are expected to continue for a long period of time, the farmers (some with their families) have built makeshift homes on the roadsides of the city.


Rural Resistance: Protests by Farmers in India

This article is part of our exclusive editorial section “Rural Resistance: Protests by Farmers in India”. You can click the following link to visit this section.

[ Rural Resistance: Protests by Farmers in India ]


Farmers fear that these laws – which are being imposed under the garb of agricultural reforms by the government – will deprive them of their farming rights and they will lose their lands which will be grabbed by Modi’s capitalist friends. They expect the government to withdraw these laws.

Rahul Gandhi said that Modi is an incompetent man who is working as a sales agent of a handful of his rich cronies and together they are looting the wealth of the country’s poor people including farmers. He added that now Modi is stealing farmers’ money or their lands to benefit a few affluent corporates.

Earlier, Modi was blamed for helping his corporate accomplices in the controversial Rafale business deal. In the $4-billion Rafale corruption case – in which Modi was the prime accused – it was alleged that Modi helped his friends dishonestly.

The complaint stated that Modi – who is a public servant – misused his position as PM of India to give undue benefit in Rafale deal to his close associate Anil Ambani who is the Chairman of Reliance ADA group of companies and brother of Mukesh Ambani.

Now again the protesting farmers complain that Modi is trying to snatch their farms to give them to his friends such as Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani. Recently, as part of their ongoing protests, Punjab farmer organizations burnt effigies of Modi, Ambani, and Adani during Dussehra celebrations.

DESTRUCTION OF DEMOCRACY

In a paradoxical situation, farmers and political parties argue that Modi is grabbing the land of its own citizens but stays silent when China forcibly occupies Indian territory. A few months ago, China had forcibly occupied large swathes of Indian land while India has failed to take its territory back from China. 

It is also being conjectured that Modi has secretly sold Indian land to China and shown it as a Chinese occupation of Indian areas. Since Modi has systematically destroyed all the democratic institutions – such as judiciary, media, parliament, etc. – there is no way to know the truth about the Modi-China deal.

In a similar case of possible misappropriation of public funds, the Modi government refuses to provide details of Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) Fund. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), which manages the fund, declines to furnish details of the contributions received in the fund which was launched surreptitiously to collect money to tackle coronavirus.

The Modi government is also using secret networks to hide the truth. An independent nonprofit organization EU DisinfoLab has released a report which claims that a massive operation is targeting international institutions clandestinely to serve Indian interests. 

The report “Indian Chronicles” also says that India is using a covert network to produce and amplify fake content with the aim to discredit India’s opponents.

Under the Modi government, the already deformed democracy in the country has become a plutocracy or perhaps kleptocracy (the rule by thieves) controlled by the corporate bigwigs who hobnob with Modi.

The ordinary citizens of India are facing extreme poverty, unemployment, corruption, inflation, and human rights violations under Modi’s rule. As the Modi government’s excesses on people are increasing, farmers bring a hope for suffering Indians.

At present, the farmers’ agitation is focused on contentious farm laws. This agitation will not have any impact on Modi or his government. Modi will get disturbed only when his power or rule is challenged.

The 140 million farmer families in India constitute a major voting bloc that has all the ingredients to dethrone Modi and restore democratic systems in the country. Now farmers need a selfless leader who can position the ongoing struggle accurately to achieve this political objective.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.

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