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Farm laws: Arvind Kejriwal indulges in politicking as farmers’ stir rages

The Delhi government’s refusal to let the police convert nine stadiums into temporary detention for the anti-farm laws protestors smacks of petty politicking rather than genuine concern for the farmers. In fact, the concern is a sham, for as we mentioned earlier (<a href="https://indianarrative.com/india/farm-laws-to-unshackle-indian-agriculture-boost-farmers-incomes-30146.html">Farm laws to unshackle Indian agriculture, boost farmers’ incomes</a> and <a href="https://indianarrative.com/economy/farm-ordinances-its-politics-stupid-14069.html">Farm ordinances: It’s politics, stupid</a>), the laws have the potential to revolutionize agriculture. The laws are intended to emancipate the farmer from the socialist rules and regulations of the past. Also, violent protest, on whatever grounds, cannot be allowed in a democracy. However, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is, like many other non-Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, providing moral endorsement to the farmers—for both continuing an irrational movement and the manner in which it is being continued which includes violent activities.

Kejriwal said yesterday in a tweet, “The three farm bills (<em>sic</em>) of the central government are anti-farmer. Instead of rolling back these bills, farmers are being stopped from staging peaceful protests. Water cannons are being used against them. This is an injustice to the farmers. Peaceful protest is their constitutional right.”

This was an irresponsible statement, as the protestors used sticks and swords, removed barricades, and threw bricks at and fought with cops. Teargas and water cannons were used against such protestors. Kejriwal and other Opposition leaders need to realize that not using force against marauding activists is tantamount to dereliction of duty. You cannot forcefully occupy public spaces, indulge in vandalism, and expect to be treated with kid gloves.

It needs to be mentioned here that what the non-BJP leaders are doing today is also what BJP luminaries do when the boot is on the other foot. That is, when there is a movement against a non-BJP government—Central or state—saffron leaders reflexively support it, irrespective of the objectives and the nature of the movement.

When reactions from politicians are invariably on party lines, the correctness of any demand becomes immaterial. This kills meaningful political debate which, in effect, degenerates into sophistry; reprehensible fallacies like <em>argumentum ad hominem</em> (attacking the arguer rather than the argument) and <em>tu quoque</em> (whataboutery) are deployed with impunity. Smart buzzwords and clever sloganeering replace cogent arguments; eloquence and articulation make way for cantankerousness and trolling.

As a consequence, political scores are settled and brownie points scored—and real issues get ignored. Such are the wages of petty politicking. Kejriwal is doing that only..