Indian Farmers And The Land Bill

English: Daytime scene showing the pre-monsoon...
English: Daytime scene showing the pre-monsoon air over India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If Modi were to ditch the land bill, that would not have any impact on an unfriendly monsoon, that would not have any impact on the unfavorable global conditions. The land bill impacts less than 1% of the land owned by Indian farmers, maybe 0.1%. But Modi's land bill is bearing the brunt of what is happening to all the land held by all Indian farmers. Farmers are 60% of India, and India is a democracy. The Chinese Communist Party never had to pass any land bill. They took what they needed, as they needed them.

The Indian farmers' concerns need to be addressed, even though they are largely independent of the land bill. They are legitimate voters with legitimate concerns. There is very little to do on the monsoon front in the immediate term, but major irrigation projects must be in the offing for the long term, there is not much that can be done to bring the global markets in favor. So what to do?

Communication is key. They have to feel the empathy. This is where leadership comes into play. Modi's megaphone comes handy here. So far the attempt has been to say the land bill is not anti-farmer. Well, what is the opposition to the land bill is only a symptom. The real issue is the farmers do have genuine concerns. Modi could do well to talk about the monsoon and the global markets.

Even on the land bill, the talk has been about infrastructure and industry. Irrigation has to be talked about in the same breath. Indian farmers understand irrigation even more than they understand rural infrastructure. Irrigation also speaks to the monsoon woes.

When Gandhi asked the Indian people to come forward, he did not offer lollipops. He asked for sacrifice. Modi can also ask people for sacrifice. If you want a better future for your children, this land bill needs to be passed. The next generation can not be as dependent on agriculture as this one. Usi mein bhalai hai. People will understand.

But talking about the next generation is not enough. Farmers are not going away any time soon. They have concerns just like the industrialists and anyone else. They are also voters. They are also consumers. The government in Delhi has to make its very best attempts to do right by them. In the immediate term. There is no skipping that part. They voted for you with expectations. Those expectations have to be met.