The pace at which the central government has enacted the ordinance to curb air pollution does reflect the seriousness of the central government over the issue. However, the real purpose and intention of the central government are not what it seems. This ordinance once again targets the farmers of the country.
According to the law, anyone causing pollution will be fined Rs 1 crore and imprisoned for five years. As far as air pollution is concerned, burning straw is considered the main culprit. In comparison, the smoke from motor vehicles and factories is also a significant factor behind air pollution.
Balbir Singh Rajewal, President of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, said that this new ordinance proves that the government is very nervous about the farmer’s movement. He made it clear that the government is doing this to take revenge from the farmers. They want to force the farmers to follow agricultural laws. However, they will not succeed in their plans.
There is no doubt that air gets polluted by burning straw. Polluted air is dangerous, especially during the Corona pandemic, but stubble burning can be stopped if the government wants to. The agriculturists have given their suggestions concerning the straw. If the recommendations are followed, then this problem can be solved.
The steps taken by the central government to show its tough stance on the issue of burning of stubble shows that the government intends to suppress the farmers at all costs. The announcement of a nationwide strike by nearly two hundred farmer organizations in Delhi on November 5 has made the government anxious.
All attempts by the government to derail the movement by creating differences among farmers have failed. In that frustration, the government is trying to create conditions like blackouts and shortage of essential commodities in Punjab by stopping the goods trains.
Like Punjab, the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly has also passed bills against the agriculture laws. Some other states are also considering bringing the bill. However, at this juncture, the biggest concern for the central government is the defeat of NDA in Bihar elections. Farmers and farm labourers of Bihar have also come forward openly against the government.
However, at present, there is no clarity on the bills that were passed in the Punjab Legislative Assembly against the central laws. At the same time, the Center brought the ordinance overnight and took approval from the President. As far as the Punjab government is concerned, it stands firmly with the farmers.
Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has appealed the MLAs of all parties to accompany him to meet the President on November 4. It remains to be seen how the opposition parties will react. If the MLAs are sympathetic to the cause of farmers, they should rise above their differences and accept Captain’s appeal.
However, if they do not do so, then there is no difference between them and the ideology of the Prime Minister. The attitude adopted by the central government suggests that the rulers sitting in Delhi are ready to rewrite the fate of the farmers of the country.
The Center’s law regarding the burning of stubble may seem in the public interest, but its purpose is only to break the spirits of farmers. By enacting such legislation, the government has refused to recognize the existence of farmers. Why has the government forgotten that the ‘son of the earth’, the farmer is not a common man? Being a provider, he is nothing less than a boon to the country.