Two pieces of legislation passed in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday, amidst ugly scenes, have left an indelible imprint as far as the functioning of our parliamentary system is concerned (Page 1, “Amid fierce protests, Rajya Sabha passes two farm Bills”, September 21). First, and what is baffling, is what the immediate necessity was in having these Bills tabled in the midst of a pandemic. Second, agriculture is a State subject and the government did not take the pains to consult the real stakeholders, especially farming organisations. Further, when the Opposition was keen on sending these Bills to a select committee, this was a genuine demand that could have been considered. Again, while passing these Bills, the government did not think it fit to listen even to the dissenting voices. The procedure adopted by the Deputy Chairman to have the Bills passed did not adhere to democratic norms and are a stain on our democracy.
When the said Bills are perceived to be anti-farmer, why should the government have adopted an adamant and intolerant attitude? People gave a mandate to the government hoping that people’s interests would be looked after. The Prime Minister talked of inclusiveness in governance. Where has this gone?
The details about four jawans of the Assam Rifles was sad reading (Inside pages, “Torture not firing, behind China border deaths in 1975, recalls veteran”, September 21). Even sadder is this: that personnel of the Assam Rifles are not recognised as “Sainik” by States in order to extend them ex-servicemen facilities, though this 185-year-old paramilitary Force has been under the operational control of the Indian Army and fought many battles in pre and post-Independent India.
The Assam Rifles is under dual control (Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Defence), but its personnel, both retired and serving, do not get the benefits of the Defence Ministry, which they are working under. On the contrary, the Special Frontier Force, also under the dual control of the Cabinet Secretariat and the Ministry of Defence, and categorised as a paramilitary force, has been granted all facilities on a par with the Indian Army.
V. Tulsi Nair,
Peringandoor, Thrissur, Kerala