Anti-farmer laws to meet the same fate as demonetization. But who stands to gain?....by Nimratdeep Kaur Udhoke
After the victory in 2014, BJP, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, has undertaken several actions that have often targeted the minorities and benefited the Indian billionaire corporate houses.
In 2016, Modi claimed that demonetization would check the black money in the economy, curb terrorism, and push people to pay taxes for the unaccounted cash piles. However, according to the statistics, 99% of the money was deposited back to RBI. According to financial experts, either the hoarders found a way to legitimize their cash, or they didn’t store it in cash. So, who got hit the hardest? It was the micro-industry and small businesses. For many small businesses, the growth rate slumped as low as 1%. According to SWI 2019 report, 5 million men lost their jobs. Though terrorist organizations might have suffered in funding for a while, terrorism remains unaffected. And, what now? How is Modi planning to prevent the new currency from seeping into the organizations? There have been no answers yet. The Modi government also claimed that demonetization would increase the direct tax collection. Though, an increase in taxpayers was witnessed but, it is unclear if it was the result of demonetization. There was a 6.6% growth in tax collection in 2014-15 without demonetization. Demonetization has failed to achieve any of the objectives the Modi government claimed.
Furthermore, the Modi government has decided to spend £2bn on the overhaul of parliament buildings. How is it a justifiable decision given the current condition of the economy? The Supreme court stated, “We never thought [Modi] would go ahead so aggressively with construction.” Through the contract, the taxpayer’s money would once again be making the billionaires even richer.
In 2017, the controversial Finance Act (2017) made it possible for companies to donate unlimited amounts to political parties through electoral bonds. The key feature of the Act was that the donor remains anonymous. It paved the way for a mutualistic relationship between corporate houses and the government, corporate backing in return for business favors. It further provided a means to legalize black money. So, who reaped the benefit?
The recent Farm Laws passed by the NDA government to privatize the agrarian sector have led to the largest organized protest in history with more than 250 million protestors. The results of these farm laws are anticipated to meet the same fate as that of demonetization. These laws threaten the MSP (Minimum Support Price) farmers receive. They are believed to be another means to strengthen corporate businesses. If these laws are passed, farmers who possess no or little power against the corporate giants will be forced to sell their lands.
The media houses initially pretended as if the movement didn’t exist. Now that the protests have begun to take the shape of a revolution, the voice of the farmers cannot be suppressed. However, media houses are trying to distort the true essence of the protests by practicing name-calling. It is quite evident that the government largely controls the media and has often used it to its advantage. Not long ago, when Article 370 was scrapped, internet services were suspended in Kashmir. The protestors in Kashmir were labeled as terrorists by the media, just how the farmers are being trolled today. This government made faith in the determinant of citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act. The Modi government continues to breach fundamental human rights to further the interest of corporate giants and itself.
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