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Farm laws won’t ‘till’ the balance in farmers’ favour

The three controversial laws may do little to improve the lives of a large majority in the sector. A more nuanced approach is what is urgently needed 

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You must have heard about the carrot-and-stick tactic. Dangle a carrot before a donkey and use a stick to jab it from behind, thus using motivation and punishment to get it moving. The central government seems to be using this tactic with the farmers agitating against the three controversial laws that will change the face of Indian agriculture. 

When the talks were ongoing, the government insisted that the laws ‘can’t and won’t’ be repealed, and its ministers suggested that protestors are misled and the NIA opened an investigation against select protestors. In this situation, the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the implementation of the three laws seemed like a timely carrot to break the logjam.

On January 5, the apex court also ordered continuation of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) until further notice and the setting up a four-member committee of experts to listen, deliberate and provide recommendations. This hasn’t convinced the farmers who worry that the committee may be partisan, and may approve whatever suits the government. 

The protestors have rejected the intervention of a SC-appointed committee and con

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