New Delhi: More than 800 academicians from universities across the country have come out in support of the three new agriculture laws that have become a bone of contention between the central government and protesting farmers.
In a written statement released Friday, academicians from Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Allahabad University and Banaras Hindu University, among others, said they “strongly support the proposed agricultural reforms”.
The central government had, in September, passed three farm laws — Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.
“It has come to notice that the three Agro Acts seek to free farm trade from all restriction and enable farmers for all transaction at competitive prices. The Union government has repeatedly assured the farmers that these three bills on farm trade wouldn’t do away with Minimum Support Price (MSP), but rather free the farm trade from all illicit market restrictions, open the market beyond ‘mandis’ and further assists the small and marginal farmers to sell their produce at market/competitive prices. The new laws also provide full autonomy for farmers to sell their produce,” the statement read.
“We strongly believe in the government’s assurance to the farmers to protect the farmers’ livelihoods, and it will not take the food from their plate. The government is still firmly committed to delivering the principle of minimum government, maximum governance,” read the statement signed by 866 academicians.
Among the signatories are Prof. Vinod Kumar Jain, Vice-Chancellor Tezpur university; Prof. H.C.S Rathore, V-C, Central University of South Bihar; Associate Professor Dr. A.K. Bhagi and Professor Niranjan Kumar of Delhi University; Prof. Tej Pratap Singh from Banaras Hindu University; and Prof Heeraman Tiwari from JNU, among others.
‘Stand in solidarity with government and farmers’
The academicians also said they stand in solidarity with both the government and the farmers.
“…we stand in solidarity with both the government and the farmers and salute their intense efforts. After all, it is not a matter of fact to bifurcate the farmers from the nation,” the statement said.
There has been an ongoing agitation against the three farm laws by farmers who have camped on the outskirts of Delhi for nearly a month now. The agitators fear the laws will enable corporatisation of agriculture and unfair price for their produce. Various farmers’ unions have demanded a repeal of the three laws and legal guarantee for MSP.
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