The sacrifice of more than 700 farmers has finally borne fruit. The Neo-British Corporation has succumbed to the farmers’ agitation that reminded the nation of the freedom struggle. Prime Minister Narendra Modi who not only announced that the three agricultural laws would be withdrawn has also apologized to the country for his failure to assess the farmers’ interests correctly. Even though it appears that the decision was taken with an eye on the elections, the victory of the farmers can be seen beyond this.

In a way, the government’s plight was similar to that of a monkey whose tail is stuck in the gap of the log. It has now rescued itself at the last minute even if it is on the pretext of elections. If the Supreme Court were to strike down the laws, it would not only have been a loss of face to the government but the government would have had to permanently face farmers’ opposition. Taking all this into consideration, the Prime Minister had to withdraw the farm laws. This is neither his gift nor alms. It is an instance of farmers reclaiming their rights by forcing the government to go down on its knees through a year-long sustained agitation in which more than 700 farmers lost their lives. The Prime Minister’s responsibility does not end with the withdrawal of the laws. He owes an answer to the nation about the sacrifice of the farmers. He owes an apology to the nation for his ministers calling farmers ‘terrorists’ or ‘khalistanis.’ The Prime Minister himself had insulted the farmers by berating them as andolanajivis (congenital agitators). Now by apologizing to the same farmers, the Prime Minister has subjected himself to ridicule.

Truth be told, the farmers agitation has not ended, it has only just started as the Prime Minister, along with the announcement to repeal the laws, has indicated that “I will modify the laws and come before you.” It is clear that his apology to the country is not for handing over the rights of the farmers to corporate forces but for his failure to cheat farmers through promulgation of the laws. “We failed to educate the farmers about the advantages of the laws. For this, we are seeking an apology”, is the actual meaning. Modi has also stated that we should move forward anew. This means that his attempt to impose the laws in a new form and in a new way would continue. By treating the farmers with contempt and in an insulting manner, the government has now realized the true strength and might of the farmers. Therefore, it will surely attempt to bring back the laws using other means and impose them on the farmers.

The Centre can try to use the state governments to achieve what it could not. Already, Karnataka has modified and implemented the Lad Reforms Act and the APMC Act. Unless it withdraws these, farmers cannot achieve total victory. Farmers should therefore not put a full stop to their agitations but prepare themselves to face the anti-farmers laws that the Centre is trying to impose through state governments. The farmers agitations unified people more effectively than the manner in which the anti-CAA protests unified the country breaking down barriers of caste and religion. If the farmers had not come together and unified themselves keeping aside caste and religion, the same farmers would have been divided and riots would have been triggered in North India. As riots are BJP’s electoral capital, RSS leaders feared that farmers protests would lead to farmers coming together by setting aside all differences. These farmers on the streets would have become a huge challenge at the time of elections in Uttar Pradesh and the seething rage of farmers that could have exploded during elections. Only when the government understood that the farmers would not leave the streets till the farm laws were repealed, the government came forward to withdraw them. Therefore, this is not a decision taken as part of election appeasement. The government got scared at the strength of the farmers and took the decision.

The farmers have shown the country that if the people are alert, it is possible to face and win over a government however arrogant those in power may be. When the government tried to distract the people by raking up Ram Mandir and Kashmir issues and started implementing anti-farm laws, Punjab farmers were the first to become alert and voice their opposition. No emotional tactics worked. Ironically, when farmers hit the streets for their rights, educated people and those who called themselves journalists joined hands with the government. But these democratic protests have shown that all forces had to eventually give in to the demands of the people. Now is the time to extend these protests to other sectors as well. The farmers protests should inspire people to fight against the government that is trying to sell the entire country to the corporate sector in phases. The New East India Company is before us wearing saffron garb and tilak. The enemy is wearing ‘our dress.’ By identifying these impersonators, the time has come for us to usher in the second freedom struggle and safeguard the sovereignty of the nation.

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Madikeri: The Kodagu district administration has implemented a nighttime ban on vehicular movement along the NH 275 section of Sampaje Ghat, connecting Sampaje to Madikeri, amid fears of potential landslides. The restriction, effective from Thursday, prohibits travel between 8 PM and 6 AM.

This precautionary measure was enacted following a report from the Assistant Executive Engineer of the National Highways Authority of India, Madikeri Sub-Division, highlighting the risk of the hillside near Kartoji on the highway collapsing due to persistent heavy rain. As a result, the Kodagu Deputy Commissioner Venkat Raja issued the order to restrict traffic.

The movement restriction applies to all vehicles except those used by officers and personnel involved in emergency services and natural calamity-related tasks.

ALSO READ: Heavy rains lead to closure of Shirady Ghat section for vehicular movement on NH-75

The Sampaje Ghat section is a vital route for travelers heading to Madikeri, Mysuru, Bengaluru, and Ooty, and it also serves as an alternative path when the Shirady Ghat is closed due to landslides. With the recent landslide near Maranahalli, traffic on the Shirady Ghat section is also banned, adding to the urgency of the situation.

Deputy Commissioner Venkat Raja has advised travelers heading to Mysuru and Bengaluru via Madikeri to use the Charmadi Ghat-Kottigehara route as an alternative.

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