[WSMDiscuss] (Fwd) Indian state brutality and paranoia (Sainath); IMF neoliberal backslaps Modi

Devendra Oza oza.devendra at gmail.com
Wed Feb 10 09:39:08 CET 2021

Dont ridicule those who disagree with you.debate in civilized language is
most welcome.satire is hardly a good argument.oza 94442 16627.

On Wed, 10 Feb 2021, 13:22 Patrick Bond, <pbond at mail.ngo.za> wrote:

> (IMF out of touch, as ever, even with a supposed "feminist icon
> <https://www.vogue.in/culture-and-living/content/gita-gopinath-on-the-road-to-economic-recovery-vogue-india-november-2020-cover-story>"
> from India serving as chief economist: “*These particular farm laws were
> in the area of marketing. It was widening the market for farmers. Being
> able to sell to multiple outlets besides the Mandis without having to pay a
> tax. And this had the potential to raise, in our view, farmers’ incomes.*
> ”)
> February 9, 2021
> Rich Farmers, Global Plots, Local Stupidity
> <https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/02/09/rich-farmers-global-plots-local-stupidity/>
> by P. Sainath <https://www.counterpunch.org/author/p/>
> Cutting off water and electricity to lakhs of human beings, exposing them
> to serious health hazards by doing so, having police and paramilitary
> barricade them into cut-off zones while imposing dangerously insanitary
> conditions on them, making it almost impossible for journalists to reach
> the protesting farmers, punishing a group that has already seen perhaps 200
> of its own die, many from hypothermia, in the past two months. Anywhere in
> the world this would be seen as barbaric and an assault on human rights and
> dignity.
> But we, our government and ruling elite are preoccupied with far more
> pressing concerns. Such as how to smash the conspiracy of dreaded global
> terrorists Rihanna and Greta Thunberg aimed at defaming and humiliating the
> greatest nation on earth.
> As fiction, that would be insanely funny. As reality, it’s merely insane.
> While all of this is shocking, it should not be surprising. Even those who
> bought the slogan “minimal government, maximum governance” should have
> figured it out by now. The real deal was government *muscular maximus*
> and maximal gory governance. What is worrying is the studied silence of so
> many otherwise articulate voices, some of whom have never failed to spring
> to the defence of power and cheerlead all such laws. You’d think *even
> they*  would disapprove of this everyday trashing of democracy.
> Every single member of the union Cabinet knows what really stands in the
> way of a resolution to the ongoing farmers’ protests.
> They know there was never any consultation with the farmers on the three
> laws – though the peasants were seeking it from the day they knew these
> were being promulgated as ordinances.
> There was never any consultation with the states in the making of these
> laws – though agriculture is in the state list in the Constitution. Nor was
> there any with opposition parties, or within Parliament itself.
> BJP leaders and union Cabinet members know there were no consultations –
> because they were never consulted themselves. Neither on this, nor on most
> other critical issues. Their task is to roll back the waves of the ocean
> when so ordered by their leader.
> So far, the waves seem to be doing better than the courtiers. Massive
> protests in Uttar Pradesh. West UP farmer leader Rakesh Tikait is a far
> more imposing figure today than he was before the government tried to
> demolish him. January 25 saw a very large farmers’ protest in Maharashtra.
> There were also significant ones in Rajasthan, in Karnataka – where tractor
> rallies were barred from entering Bengaluru – Andhra Pradesh and elsewhere.
> In Haryana, the government struggles to function in a state where the chief
> minister seems unable to attend public meetings.
> In Punjab, almost every household identifies with the protestors – many
> itching to join them, some already in the process of doing so. For the
> urban local body polls due on February 14, the BJP struggled to find
> candidates. Those it does have – old faithfuls – are wary of using their
> own party symbol. Meanwhile, an entire generation of youth in the state has
> been alienated, with very serious implications for the future.
> It’s an astonishing achievement of this government that it has united a
> huge and unlikely spectrum of social forces, including some traditional
> adversaries like farmers and *arhtiyas*  (commission agents). Beyond
> that, it has also united Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Jats and non-Jats, even
> the Khaps and the Khan Market crowd. Impressive.
> But the now quiet voices spent two months assuring us this was “just about
> Punjab and Haryana.” No one else was affected. It didn’t really matter.
> Funny. When last verified by a committee not appointed by the Supreme
> Court, both Punjab and Haryana were a part of the Indian Union. You’d think
> what happens there matters to all of us.
> Those once-articulate voices also told us – and still do in more hushed
> tones – that these were all “rich farmers” resisting reforms.
> Fascinating. The average monthly income of a farm household in Punjab,
> according to the last NSS survey, was Rs. 18,059. The average number of
> persons per agricultural household was 5.24. So monthly per capita income
> was about Rs. 3,450. Lower than the lowest paid employee in the organised
> sector.
> Gee! Such wealth. The half was not told unto us. The corresponding figures
> for Haryana (farm household size 5.9 persons) was Rs. 14,434 average
> monthly income and roughly Rs. 2,450 per capita. Sure, these abysmal
> numbers still place them ahead of other Indian farmers. Such as those, for
> example, from Gujarat where the average monthly income of the agricultural
> household was Rs. 7,926. With an average of 5.2 persons per agricultural
> household, that’s a monthly per capita of Rs. 1,524.
> The all-India average for the monthly income of an agricultural household
> was Rs. 6,426 (about Rs. 1,300 per capita). By the way – all these average
> monthly figures include income from all sources.  Not just from
> cultivation, but also from livestock, non-farm business and income from
> wages and salaries.
> This is the condition of the Indian farmer as recorded in the National
> Sample Survey 70th round ‘Key Indicators of Situation of Agricultural
> Households in India’ (2013). And remember the government has pledged to
> double those farmers’ incomes by 2022 – in the next 12 months. A tough
> task, which makes the disruptive interference of the Rihannas and the
> Thunbergs that much more annoying.
> Oh, those rich farmers at Delhi’s borders, who sleep in metal trolleys in
> temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius or less, who bathe in the open in 5-6
> degrees – they’ve certainly improved my appreciation of the Indian rich.
> They’re a hardier lot than we thought.
> Meanwhile, the Committee appointed by the Supreme Court to talk to the
> farmers, seems unable to talk to itself coherently – one of its four
> members quit before its first meeting. As for talking to the actual
> protestors, that has happened not at all.
> On March 12, the Supreme Court-appointed committee will have exhausted its
> two-month mandate (about the maximum life span of insect pollinators so
> crucial to agriculture). The committee will by then have a long list of
> people they did not speak to, and a longer list of people who would not
> speak to them. And perhaps a short list of those they should never have
> spoken to.
> Every attempt to bully and intimidate the protesting farmers has seen
> their numbers swell and grow. Every act aimed at discrediting them has
> gained great traction in the establishment’s captive media – but achieved
> the reverse on the ground. The scary thing is that this will in no way
> deter this government from intensifying those efforts which will get more
> authoritarian, physical, and brutal.
> Many in the corporate media know, and many within the BJP know even
> better, that perhaps the most insurmountable hurdle in this dispute is
> personal ego. Not policy, not even that promises made to the richest
> corporations have to be kept (they surely will be, some day). Not the
> sanctity of the laws (which by the government’s own admission could do with
> multiple amendments). Just that the king can do no wrong. And admitting to
> a mistake and worse, retreating from it, is unthinkable. So, no matter if
> every single farmer in the country is alienated – the leader cannot be
> wrong, cannot lose face. I find not a single editorial in the large dailies
> even whispering this, though they know it is true.
> How important is ego in this mess? Consider the response to a simple tweet
> by a rhythm & blues star on the internet shutdowns: “Why aren’t we talking
> about this?” When the debate around it descends to
> ‘aha-Modi-has-more-followers-on-twitter-than-Rihanna,’ we’re lost.
> Actually, we were lost when the Ministry of External Affairs led the
> *kamikaze* counter-terrorism heroics on the matter, inspiring a patriotic
> Celebrity Light Brigade to make its own cyber charge. (Into the Digital
> Valley of Doom, where tweets volleyed and thundered, undeterred by the
> rising gloom, rode the noble Six Hundred).
> The original offending tweet, in simply wondering why we’re not talking
> about this, took no explicit stand or side – unlike statements from the
> IMF’s chief economist and director of communications, both of whom have
> publicly praised the farm laws (while adding ‘cautions’ about ‘safety nets’
> – with all the sincerity of nicotine peddlers in the statutory warnings
> they stamp on their cigarette packs).
> Nope, an R&B artist and an 18-year-old teenage climate activist are
> obviously the dangerous ones here, to be dealt with firmly and
> uncompromisingly. It’s reassuring to know the Delhi police are on the job.
> And if they move beyond global conspiracy to discover an extra-terrestrial
> dimension to the plot – today the globe, tomorrow the galaxy – I shall not
> be amongst those who mock them. As one of my favourite sayings floating
> about the net goes: “The surest proof of the existence of extra-terrestrial
> intelligence, is that they’ve left us alone.”
> *This **article*
> <https://thewire.in/rights/farmers-protest-modi-government-gulag>* was
> first published on *The Wire*.*
> *****
> India’s new agriculture legal guidelines have potential to boost farm
> revenue: IMF’s Gita Gopinath, India News News
> [image: TGI News] by TGI News
> <https://thegreaterindia.in/author/joinindiaoffice_s8gf3q7x/>
> January 27, 2021
> <https://thegreaterindia.in/top-news/indias-new-agriculture-laws-have-potential-to-raise-farm-income-imfs-gita-gopinath-india-news-news/>
> For weeks, farmers’ unions have been protesting in and out of doors the
> nation’s capital, demanding the withdrawal of just lately handed laws they
> are saying, with out proof, was designed to profit corporates.
> *Also learn | Farmers run riot in Delhi on Republic Day*
> There have been a number of rounds of talks with the federal government
> however the stalemate continues.
> A faction of farmers imagine that these payments will severely impoverish
> them however the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has a special standpoint.
> IMF’s Chief Economist Gita Gopinath has mentioned that India’s
> recently-enacted agriculture legal guidelines have the potential to extend
> farmers’ revenue.
> “Indian agriculture is in need of reforms. There are multiple areas where
> the reforms are needed, including infrastructure,” the Chief Economist of
> the Washington-based world monetary establishment mentioned on Tuesday.
> The three agri legal guidelines, enacted in September final 12 months,
> have been projected by the Indian authorities as main reforms within the
> agriculture sector that may take away middlemen and permit farmers to
> promote their merchandise wherever within the nation.
> Gopinath, in response to a query on the brand new farm legal guidelines,
> mentioned: “These particular farm laws were in the area of marketing. It
> was widening the market for farmers. Being able to sell to multiple outlets
> besides the Mandis without having to pay a tax. And this had the potential
> to raise, in our view, farmers’ incomes.”
> “That said, every time reform is put in place, there are transition costs.
> One has to make sure and pay close attention that it’s not harming
> vulnerable farmers, to make sure that the social safety net is provided.
> Clearly, there is a discussion right now and we’ll see what comes out if
> it,” she mentioned.
> ...
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