Farmers Protest

With the intend of Agriculture Reforms, the Central Government brought 3 Farm bills. The main purpose of this bill was to,

  1. Liberate farmers, to sell their crop anywhere
  2. Increase the income of farmers through contract farming
  3. Eliminate or reduce the role of Aadats, and direct sale to increase farmers income
  4. Create an option to the APMC, by permitting the farmers to sell crops outside mandis, and to private firms as well

But as the bills were introduced a lot of opposition came against the government. Today the protest completes 2 weeks and the farmers from Punjab, Haryana, western UP are protesting at the borders of Delhi, blocking the main highways to the National Capital.

It is important to note that the farmers involved in the protest are mainly from states of Punjab, Haryana, and Western UP. These are the main states where the Mandi system or the APMCs are well established. Whereas states like Kerela and Bihar don’t have APMC, and so the intensity is also low there. Also, few farmer leaders are involved in the protest from all over the country.

Besides the Farmers, there are various political parties like, Congress, NCP, Akalis, DMK, SP, RJD, TMC who are also supporting the agitation. It is interesting to know that the Congress party in its 2019 Manifesto has already promised to amend the APMC act. But after seeing the agitation they seem like taking a U-turn. Also, the NCP Supremo in 2010 has sent letters to the State Governments, regarding the amendments in the APMC Act.

Besides all these protests the real issues and concerns of the farmers are getting cornered. The real question is what farmers want?

Farmers gathering near the Highways of Delhi.

In a conversation with a young farmer, I have tried to understand some of their genuine concerns.

  • First is the MSP. According to him, it is ok if farmers don’t get any monetary benefits, subsidies, or any other relief. His core demand is the right amount of price for his crops. And it’s his main demand from the government to ensure the MSP in the law.
  • In Contract Farming, the main demand is the right against exploitation by Corporate firm. Suppose the deal as per the contracting farming is 20/- kg. And the market price of the crop at that time is just 10/- kg. Here the firm is at loss. So here if the firm won’t give him the promised amount then the farmers are in turmoil and exploited by the firms. So here the farmers want assurance of justice and right against exploitation.
  • Now consider the opposite scenario, if the market rate of the crop becomes 40/-kg. Here the firms are in profit but the farmers are in loss. Now here the farmer’s loss needs to be compensated against the market price. Otherwise, how will the farmer earn enough?
  • As per the law, there is no provision for confiscation of land from the farmers. Farmers have a fear that if they have a contract with Big Corporates, and if they fail, they must have the security of land.
  • Also, there is a demand to add the provisions of seeking justice from the civil court in case of exploitation.

Now after the 6 rounds of meetings between the Farmers delegation and the Government, it seems like both the side are firm on their stands. The Government is ready to amend the law and do possible changes, but the protesting farmers are firm on the demand for repealing the law.

It’s finally up to the protestors in what direction they need to take the agitation. But my only concern is if the movement is purely non-political then there must be serious discussions on the real concerns and issues of the farmers. The politicization of the protest will not only damage the sanctity of the protest but will also cover its real motive.

Reforms never have a cakewalk.

They come from the routes of thorns, nails, and sacrifices.

“When we all were al home in lockdown, the Farmers were in fields to feed us.”

Sikkim’s First Airport Pakyong!!

Introduction
 
Pakyong Airport is the Greenfield Airport the State Capital Gangtok. It is India’s 100th Operational Airport in India. It is approximately 4500 ft from the sea level. One of the 5 biggest Airports in India. First Greenfield Airport in the Northeast. Only Airport in the State. One of the tallest reinforced soil structures in the world.
Background of the Project
Sikkim was the only state which didn’t have any operational Airport of its own. They either used the Bagdogra Airport, which is 124 Kms in the Neighbouring State of West Bengal or the Paro Airport in the Bhutan. So in 2008 the Cabinet Committee gave the approval for the development of the Pakyong Airport. The Foundation stone was laid by the then Civil Aviation Minister, Prafulla Patel.
The Airport was estimated to be complete till 2012. But due to the agitations from the local people this was halted till 2014. The local people demanded proper rehabilitation and security. Later in 2014 the AAI took initiative, discussed with the people and gave some part of the compensation. This helped in starting the work again. But in 2015 the villagers again protested and the project was again halted.  Later in 2015 the state Government signed a MOU with the AAI and promised to help the villagers in safe and securely shifting and rehabilitating. This helped the AAI to finally start it’s work till the end of 2015. Due to this protests and the landslides upslope of the runway resulted in the Escalation of its cost from 309 Crore Rupees to 605 Crore Rupees.
On 24th September 2018, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the
Airport. And flights will start commencing from 4th of October between Guwahati and Kolkata.
Strategic Importance
Last year we saw some tensions going on regarding the Doklam region with China. Doklam is the region with 3 International Borders. And it is near to this Airport within 54kms. So this Airport might play an Important Strategic role in Future.
Twitter Pics

Rafale Deal in Short!

 

Why we need Rafale Fighter Jets?
India has Pakistan to its west and China to its East. So when there is a war like condition India should have the potential to fight on both the fronts at the same time. To be able to fight on both fronts we need 42-45 squadrons of Fighter Jets and each squadron has 16-18 jets each. So the Indian Air Forces continuously demanded the Government to purchase new Fighter Jets to increase its potential. According to a report India has only 34 squadrons, out of which only 31 are in working condition. Also it is important to note that these squadrons contain 11 squadrons of Sukhoi 30 MKI. These are the latest fighter jets in our Air Force. Other jets in the Air Force are either getting upgraded or getting retired. Till 2020 It is expected that around 14 squadrons will get retired. So till 2020 Air Force will have total 20 plus 3 more squadrons of Sukhoi 30 MKI, which will be made and given to the Air Forces by HAL(Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) till 2020. So this total 23 Squadrons are around half the estimated potential. So the Indian Air Forces continuously forced the Government to purchase new Fighter Jets to increase its potential.
 
What is Rafale Deal?
In 2000 Government decided to purchase 126 Miraj 2000 Jets, but later this deal was changed. And they decided to purchased 126 MMRCA( Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft). In 2007 decided to purchase 126 MMRCA, for which Manmohan Singh announced a RFP (Request For Proposal). According to this proposal all the Air Craft Companies in the world had to explain their model with all its features in a PPT. This was well known around the world as the Indian-MMRCA tender. This deal was estimated around 1 Lakh 26 thousand Crore Rupees. It was renowned as the Mother of all Defense Deal in the World. All the Air Craft manufacturing Companies in the world gave their presentation in response to the RFP. A number of jets were assessed and in 2011 two Fighter gets were selected, one was the EuroFighter Typhoon and other was The Rafale of Dassault. In 2012 Finally Indian Government gave L1 bidder to Dassault Aviation. L1 bidder is the least bidder and finally conversation started with them on Rafale Deal. According to the deal India wanted 18 Jets to be delivered in the Flyover condition. And other 108 jets to be made in India by the Dassault in partnership with the HAL(Hindustan Aeronautics Limited). one most important point of the deal was that India wanted Dassault to take the quality control responsibility of the 108 jets to be made by the HAL. Talks were going on between Dassault and HAL. But nothing went okay as Dassault did not want to take the responsibility of the jets made by HAL in India. Also there were differences in the expenses of both the Companies. Due to this, the deal couldn’t take place till 2014.
In 2014 also the talks continued between Dassault and Modi Govt. In April 2015 PM Modi went to France and in a press conference he declared that India will purchase 36 Rafale Jets through France Government. So, on 30 July 2015 the MMRCA tender was finally withdrawn. And it was cleared that now the deal is not with the Dassault but with the France Government.
Why is there Controversy around this Deal?
As per the opposition there are various changes in the deal on which there are few allegations by the opposition on the Government. We will discuss these Allegations one by one.
1. Less number of Jets : As per the UPA there were 126 jets proposed whereas NDA’s deal has only 36 jets to be delivered in the fly way condition. As per the Press conference from the Govt, they said that 36 jets will be received in fly way condition and others will be manufactured in India with the help if its offset partner.
2. 2-3 times more pay to the Dassault: As per the opposition Modi Govt’s estimated cost of the deal is 60,000 Crores which is thrice the estimated cost of the UPA’s deal. Now Opposition demanded an answer on this increased cost. Govt says that as it is a Defense deal its cost and other details will not be made public.
3. Technological loss : As per the previous deal Dassault would have had made 108 jets with the partnership of HAL in India, and this would finally help HAL to learn some new Technology. But as per the new deal all the 36 jets will be coming to India in the fly way condition.
4. Financial favor to Reliance: Opposition claimed that the Modi Govt helped the Reliance Company by purchasing the jets at higher cost than the Earlier deal. Govt cleared its stand that India will get more things than before. Dassault took the responsibility that every year there would be minimum 75% jets in the working condition and it will make all the spare parts available till next 7 years.
France Govt Statement
5. Holande’s Remark: One of the allegation is that the former President of the France said that,” India proposed a service group and Dassault negotiated with the Ambani”. He also said that,” We did not have a choice” and ” We did not have a say in this”. In Defense of this The France Govt issued a statement saying that the Govt is in no manner involved in the choice of the Indian Industrial Partners and will be selected by the French Companies. The French Company has full freedom to choose their Indian Industrial Partner. Also the Dassault Aviation has also issued a clarification stating that they have decided to partner withe the India’s Reliance Group.
Dassault’s Statement

Economic Reservations: Future Gap Fillers…!

In childhood I enjoyed my life a lot to my fullest. I spend a lot of time with my mother’s maternal cousins. During summer vacations I used to go out of station to stay for about 1-2 months mostly. My cousins are very simple, kind hearten and loving. That is why they used to take my every mischief as innocence. And I used to enjoy playing games and pranks with them. There is a great pleasure in being together, playing together and eating together. And I feel very lucky that I enjoyed my childhood all the fun that I can have. Also I troubled a few of them with my pranks, some were OK but some were so exaggerating that a shot tempered would slap me on the spot. But my cousins are very understanding, they all handle me with care and love. I would like to take advantage of this online platform to thank them for making my childhood so memorable.
After my KG as usual I went to my cousins for the vacations. All of them were already there. I was an innocent child I hardly knew any manners but still I don’t ever used to think of any consequences. One fine day all were playing carom. As I was the youngest among them I always used to struggle for a chance. But still there was a great pleasure in fighting for one strike also. The architecture of the house was such that there was an entrance and and immediate hall with the washing area and the kitchen following the hall. There was also a back gate to enter directly to the washing room and the kitchen. It was almost 3 pm and we had finished with our lunch and there was a layer of used dishes and other dirty utensils kept for cleaning along with 2 buckets of soaked clothes for washing. In those days and even today we have servants or in Marathi we called Bai, a maid who used to came to clean the utensils and washing clothes. And it was the time of the arrival and the doorbell rang. My female peeped through the window and said it’s the kamalabai(as her name was kamala). Aunt asked her to come from the back doors and so she did.

Kamalabai was a thin women with black skin, in saree and a big bindii on her forehead ( big red dot) and OK to wear clothes that were hardly washed along with a polythene bag that contained some day old remaining foodstuffs that she get from the houses she served daily. With her normal attire she gave a long smile to aunt and sat down to clean the dishes and utensils. I was nothing special to give any attention as it was a normal scene for me as I was familiar with the family. But what was waiting for me to notice and shake my consciousness from up to down was the next scene which was hardly ever noticed by me. But that day I saw it, very attentively, noticed something, felt something and something impacted very deeply.

Kamalabai was doing her work very carefully. After a while aunty whispered from the kitchen “kamala!!” And the maid responded,“…ha kaku…” ( aunty in marathi). “Chah zala, bhanda kadhu thev”(the tea is ready, get ur cup ready) said aunty. Kamala washed her hands went to a dark corner in the washing room and took out an old aluminum glass which was blackish and unshaped. She washed it with water and kept it on the step of the kitchen. Aunt came and poured the hot tea in the glass. Aunt was so conscious about pouring the tea as if it could be a sin if she touched the glass. Then kamala slowly came took the glass sat on the outer steps of the back door and started drinking the tea. After finishing she washed the glass again and kept in the dark corner. After washing clothes she used to regularly inform aunt while leaving and aunt used to make her wait and gave her some day before food stuffs. She used to quietly accept them in her bags and take her to home. And at-home she had all that she collected from her work to eat and feed her family.

That day I had no words to express my sympathy. But the scene used to be the same everyday. Even I never dared to ask them anything about it as I was not too young to question them on such issues. But as days passed I remembered one day I heard my mother’s conversation with the aunt about kamalabai. As mother was very close to the family she was very know to the neighbors and the people who visited my aunt’s home. Mother knew kamalabai personally. She uses praise kamalabai about her effortless work and hard work. Once when mother said with to aunt,“Kamalabai is so hard-working and sincere towards ur family. You should give her a good saree on Diwali.” My mother is very generous and kind hearten towards such people. “Yes, u r right I have some old sarees that don’t wear anymore, I should give her one of them.” After that she told that kamalabai belongs to a lower caste and they avoid her touch in the house very strictly. Even she is not feed in the same vessels in which they ate. She had a separate glass for tea. Even for drinking water she is not allowed to touch the regular pot. Her glass is filled by pouring the liquid from a distance. Mom and aunt had a casual conversation on the topic but they never ever though what it could it be impacting on me as a child.

I was hearing and understanding everything very quietly. I was feeling lower and lower deep inside. Its my basic nature that when I feel deep about something I get focused from inside. It was surprising for me because I never did this with anyone else and this was very much unexpected. During those vacations that incident left a water mark on my perception.

After that when ever I thought of that incident I used to get very sensitive about those people. Once I thought deeply about that incident in detail and found many unexpected questions. Is kamalabai an animal or even worse than an animal?Why my aunt behaved like this with her? Why was she treated with cruel care? What makes a difference between her and me, the skin? the age? Or the caste? If skin is the answer then what’s her fault if she is born back and me as white.? Caste!!! What is caste? Who divided people on caste? Even if divided what makes us to make difference on the basis of caste? Does caste has overtakes humanity? Y r the people such? Why is this such insane in the society? Whose fault it is?

image-slider4-for-caste-system-440x330

After a bouncers of unanswerable questions one word struct ed my heart like an arrow. It was the CASTE. Caste the first word from which the discrimination started in the house.

When I turned the pages of history of the caste I found that caste was designated on the bases of their professions. People came together divided the work in the society and that work defined their cast. Like the oil extractors were called teli, the Potter’s were called kumbhi, the warriors as Kshatriyas and those who worked as servants for others were termed as lower caste. But it was a good step taken by the people to resolve that time problem. Bust as the days passed the professions of the people changed, interchanged but the sticker of caste remained the same. Today is a condition when the people don’t follow their caste profession but showoff their feelings about their caste. I don’t criticize them but the thing is where is the real humanity which is the base of every caste and religion. If u still practice discrimination and say that u r proud of Ur caste, then it’s a fake expression.

There is very beautiful chain of character personality development.

As we think, so as we speak.

As we speak, so as we act.

As we act, so is our character. 

So it concludes to a point that all the problem lies within the thinking.

If there is no discrimination within the thoughts there is no discrimination in the actions and so is the character. I don’t blame anyone. But if it’s not stopped here then it would carry-on further creating differences and differences, and what lacks is the mere Difference!

Today if we observe there is no caste as higher and no as lower. But there are the following three types of people in every caste. They are poor people, middle class people and the higher class people. And one of the elements that burn the caste system is the reservations. Reservation was essential at time of independence because there were a class of people who were never given the right to education for around 2000 years. Their number of generations did slavery and just slavery of the ruling caste people, as they say. So it was very necessary to bring all kinds of people in the main stream. For which Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar introduced the reservation of the dalit community in India under the Constitution. It was a very strong step. But today it’s not the same condition after 70 years of independence. As I mentioned above every community consists of the 3 types of people. There is a sense of discrimination with the people that they have been deprived of the position or opportunity they deserve on the basis of their ability just because of the reservation system.

Let’s take a frequent example of college admissions. When we see the cutoff list of any reputed college we found that the difference between the open candidate and that of the SC,ST has a huge difference. There is a necessity to develop the sense of equality so that the students should get the benefit only on the basis of their intelligence. Yes!! there is a need to change the base of reservations.

The-Great-Indian-Reservation-System

Here when I speak about the three categories then i actually mean this,

  • Higher class consists of those people belonging to business background, holding higher positions and earning more than an average living.
  • Middle class consists of all those people who has just crossed their poverty line, got educated and earn enough for their living. These are typical middle class families.
  • Theses consists of people who are still uneducated, don’t have a secure job and still dependent on upper classes for their job. 

What should be the new base of reservations?

As we can see that the main challenge before us is to unite the people of different caste in the society so that the present caste system should break and there could be only 3 types of people, namely the higher class, middle class and the lower class.

  • The day comes when a middle class kumbhi sits with a middle class minority for admission that day we can say that the caste system is broken totally.
  • The day a businessman from the Sikhs and the dalits share a stage will mark the day for breaking the bondages of cruel caste system.
  • Similarly when the poor Brahmin child’s and the poor Muslim child will study in the same school will mark the decline of castism.

IMG_20170518_205617

These three classes will contain the people of all the present day caste, creed, religions. From the above the people will be able to distinguish and there will be a clear understanding about the economic status of the people. This will further help the government to checkout plans and policies to uplift the respective class. The aim for the higher class will be to increase trade and business. The middle class aim will be to make the more independent. Similarly lower class aim will be to first suffice their initial needs then to become well educated and self dependent. In this way we can uplift the people of our nation equally.

This is what my idea about reservations are. If any of the highly authorized person reads mi article I kindly request him to please share it so that the highest authority can read it and think on it once.

I know it’s a very small step but if we want some change in the present then this step is very important. I did my part as a responsible citizen. I request each and everyone to please come forward and speak on the sensitive topics so that there comes a change in us, in the people,in the society and in the Nation.

My Nation belongs to all!!!

Jai Hind…!

Jai Bharat…!

bathinda