By Justice Markandey Katju,
former judge, Supreme Court of India
The next meeting of the farmers’ representatives and the Central Govt Ministers will be held today, 5th December, at 2 p.m. in Vigyan Bhawan. In the meantime a meeting is being held at the Prime Minister’s residence between the PM and some Ministers and officials.
The farmers seem adamant that they will not give up their agitation unless and until the 3 farmers laws are withdrawn, and they have announced blocking of roads leading into Delhi and Bharat Bandh on 8th December as their next steps, but till now the Govt has not conceded their demand..
To break this impasse, my appeal to the Govt is to announce that the implementation of the 3 laws to which the farmers are objecting will remain suspended by an Ordinance, and in the meantime, a Farmers Commission will be constituted having as its members representatives of the farmers organisations, representatives of the govt, and some agricultural experts. This Commission should consider all issues, and the consensus which will emerge in the meetings of the Farmers Commission will then be enforced by suitable legislation.
This will avoid loss of face for the Govt which can say it has not repealed the 3 laws, and at the same time the farmers can say their agitation has been partially successful.
In most negotiations both sides must bend a bit to achieve an amicable compromise. The alternative is violence, which seems imminent unless such a compromise is reached, and it should be avoided.