Justice Markandey Katju-
Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own.
I had earlier made an appeal to you suggesting a via media in the present impasse between the government and the agitating farmers. This appeal was published in theweek.in, whose link I tagged on Twitter to you, as well as to Sarvashri Amit Shah, Narendra Singh Tomar, Piyush Goyal, Capt Amarinder Singh, Yogendra Yadav, etc.
I do not know whether this appeal came to your notice or not, but I again earnestly beseech you to carefully consider it, as it seems to me the only way out of the present deadlock and imbroglio.
The farmers are threatening to block all roads leading to Delhi, and some have even threatened to block trains, gherao Ministers, and even Parliament. This may result in police lathi charges and even firing, resulting in huge loss of lives and serious injuries, and this, in turn, may set in a chain reaction of violence in many parts of the country. Punjab and parts of Haryana and western UP may witness widespread violence, which may be followed elsewhere.
At this late hour, I implore you once again to calmly reflect and consider my humble appeal.
I can understand that repeal of the three laws immediately may be regarded as a loss of face for your government, and hence you may be reluctant to take that step. However, I have suggested instead that the laws may remain, but not be enforced until further orders. In the meantime a Farmers Commission be set up, consisting of representatives of farmers organizations, the govt, and some agricultural experts, which should hold several meetings to consider all aspects of the farmers’ problems, and then after wide discussions, the consensus which emerges may be enforced by suitable legislation.
The agitating farmers seem adamant that the three laws be repealed, while your government does not seem inclined to accept this demand. In this situation the via media I have suggested seems the only way out of this standoff. The government will not lose face, as it can say that the laws have not been repealed, and the farmers can claim partial success as the laws will not be enforced. This will amount to a partial win-win solution for both sides.
The alternative, I shudder to think, is widespread violence, which should be avoided at all cost.