PM’s decision on farm laws has again proven that he listens to public opinion | India News

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This year, the Parkash Purab of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji became even more special with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement that the three farm laws would be repealed and the reopening of the Kartarpur sahib Corridor. Any nationalist, any person who thinks about the welfare of our farmer and the agriculture sector will welcome this announcement. It also brings closure to the tumultuous happenings in the months gone by, which have pained all of us. I too would like to pay my tributes once again to the farmers who have shown great courage.
Prime Minister Modi’s decision has again proven that he listens to public opinion. In his address he outlined numerous steps taken by his government for farmers. There was no conditional or phased withdrawal and the PM took a firm decision. The fact that the Prime Minister himself announced this was not missed on people. It was easy for the announcement to be made by someone else or even announce it on the floor of Parliament. Yet, this was done without any political considerations of win or loss. To see the Prime Minister’s decision as a “climbdown” or “weakness” is not true. In a democracy, there is nothing bigger than listening to the will of the people and there is no bigger democrat than a leader who does that.
As a soldier who has had the honour of serving our Motherland for years, I welcome this move. The bitterness on the ground was becoming more acerbic by the day. At the drop of a hat, people were calling each other names, attributing motives, or questioning people’s loyalty to our nation. None of this augur well for national progress. Overseas, it became a rallying point for elements who want to destroy India’s unity. Nations like Pakistan, who never have and never will defeat us on the battlefield had their strategies ready for a proxy battle using our proud and patriotic farmers. This one announcement by the Prime Minister punctured those half-baked dreams.
At a larger level, this isn’t the time to play politics, least of all on issues concerning farmers. A substantial share of our population depends on agriculture for their livelihood. It is our farmers who keep our nation fed. Likewise, I urge everyone not to use the Sikh faith for their own politics. The memories and wounds of the 1980s are for everyone to see. If anyone plays politics on these issues, the people will teach them a lesson.
As a devout Sikh, who is deeply influenced by the teachings of the Guru Sahibs, the Prime Minister’s announcements struck a chord with me. No Sikh has missed the fact that the announcements to withdraw the farm laws happened on an auspicious day. The Prime Minister quoted Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Guru Gobind Singh Ji. He used the phrase ‘Kshama Bhaav’ in his address. It is obvious that he is seeking to build a connect with the Sikh community. Just a few days before this announcement, the Prime Minister was kind to open the Kartarpur corridor for devotees. In the last year, he has bowed at two Gurudwaras in Delhi. Which Sikh did not feel happy when the Sri Guru Granth Sahib returned from Afghanistan and found a special respect in our nation.
Sikhs in India are staunchly patriotic. They have fiercely fought the Mughals and the British to defend their motherland. In India, Sikhs have gone on to become President, Prime Minister, Cabinet ministers, chief ministers, Army chiefs, top business tycoons, actors, artists and gained immense success in a wide range of fields. In his address, the Prime Minister has given a message of affection and conciliation to the Sikh youth. I have always said that being a border state, Punjab deserves more sensitive handling, and I am happy that this is being done.
At the same time, I hope we also take note of the miserable condition of Sikhs (and other minorities) due to Jihadi mindsets in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
A lot of chatter is being made, especially by my previous party about the political undertones of this decision. I want to show a mirror to such people. The CAA protests began in late 2019. In the subsequent Delhi elections, the Congress got a golden zero for the second time. They tried to politicise the return of migrants during Covid lockdown and in Bihar, a state with a significant number of migrants the Congress’ electoral performance was so bad that their friends in RJD could not make it to power (redux of UP 2017)! In the assembly polls in May this year at the peak of Covid and farm laws, the Congress did not win in Kerala even though the state has a history of alternating between the Left and Congress. In Puducherry they lost their government while in Bengal and Assam it was a whitewash of sorts. Instead, of course correcting on these issues, it destabilised Punjab, the sole state where they have won every election since 2017. In contrast, BJP held on to its own in Delhi, emerged single largest in Bihar, formed Governments in Bihar and Puducherry and improved significantly in Bengal, all during the period of farm laws. Thus, it is high time we stop attaching politics motives to every decision.
Those who know me can vouch for one thing- I play with a straight bat. This is what I have learnt in the army and I will follow this till my last breath. In 1984, I was the first person to quit Congress after the disastrous Operation Blue Star. I was among the earliest to call for a peaceful solution to the farm bills issue, even undertaking the withdrawal of the laws. In the state assembly and, when that has been done, I owe it to my nation and my conscience to appreciate it. What PM Modi has done is in the interest of the Sikh community; it is in Punjab’s interest and importantly in our national interest.





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