Farmers shout slogans as they block a road during a protest. PHOTO: AFP

Indian farmers are rising up against Modi’s ‘Great Reset’

The BJP fears the influence farmers hold over society, hence their interest in politically neutralising them

Andrew Korybko November 27, 2020

The Indian capital saw heated clashes on Friday after security forces fired tear gas and water cannons to stop a farmers’ march that was descending on the city from different parts of the country, most from the agriculturally rich region of Punjab. The farmers are furious after the government’s so-called “reforms” in September liberalised the market for their goods, which they fear will eventually lead to the state removing its subsidies for their industry and thus placing them at the mercy of uncontrollable market forces that seek to exploit them. While the authorities claim that they have the farmers’ best interests in mind, it’ll be argued in this analysis that they don’t, and that they actually aim to destroy them for self-interested political and economic reasons.

The full-spectrum paradigm-changing processes catalysed by the world’s uncoordinated efforts to contain Covid-19, which the author collectively refers to as World War C, has created an opportunity for some forces to push through radical pre-planned agendas that were just waiting for the proper pretext. The World Economic Forum (WEF) nowadays openly talks about a so-called “Great Reset”, which is proudly pushed by its founder Klaus Schwab who literally published a book over the summer titled “Covid-19: The Great Reset”. It’s not a “conspiracy theory” like critics claim, but is simply a strategy for capitalising on the prevailing chaotic conditions of the contemporary world to advance prior plans that might not have been popular under other conditions.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also has his own “Great Reset” that he hopes to impose upon the population, and it too precedes the onset of World War C. His radical vision aims to rapidly neoliberalise the economy, which would be akin to what Russia suffered immediately after the end of communism during its period of “shock therapy”. Subsidies would be dramatically scaled down and ultimately removed in order to let the so-called “invisible hand of the market” guide the country’s development. The effect that this would have on the Indian agricultural sector would be disastrous since it would crush this segment of society and lead to its eventual replacement by large-scale corporate agricultural forces, some of which might even be foreign-owned.

The ruling BJP fears the influence that farmers hold over society, hence their interest in politically neutralising them by practically removing this class from existence through these means. It knows very well that they have the power to bring the government to its knees and to possibly form the core of a nationwide protest movement sometime in the future. Domestic conditions are very tense in India nowadays after a growing segment of the population is becoming increasingly unhappy with the government’s response to World War C. The farmers’ protest might be the spark that incites wider unrest if it isn’t contained as soon as possible, which explains why the authorities are resorting to the use of force to stop their march on the capital.

This isn’t a new observation either since the author has been covering Indian social movements for the past few years and arrived at similar conclusions in the past. The reader is encouraged to review what he wrote in September 2018 about how “India’s Arrest Of Leftist Activists Shows Its Fear Of Social Revolution” and his follow-up piece from July 2019 predicting that “India’s Looming Agricultural Crisis Is A Unique Chance To Change The System”. Modi’s promised “big bang reforms” form the basis of this year’s neoliberal-driven “Great Reset”. They’re actually one and the same, but he wisely calculated that the agricultural dimension of this vision would provoke widespread unrest from farmers unless he pushed it through during crisis conditions.

World War C was the perfect pretext for doing so, but the farmers weren’t going to be fooled and thus decided to make a powerful stand in opposition to the policy that aims to spell their professional doom. As the author wrote in his previously cited analysis about changing the system, the large-scale unemployment of farmers that would follow Modi’s “big bang” (nowadays more accurately described as his “Great Reset”) and their resultant mass migration to the cities out of desperation to sell their labour to feed their families would totally change Indian society, but not for the better. The farmers therefore know what’s in store for them if they fail in their efforts to get the government to reverse this policy, which is why they’re rising up against the “Great Reset”.

It’s too early to tell whether they’ll succeed in this goal or if they’ll inspire others to join them in assembling what the author also earlier described in his cited works as a “coalition of malcontents”, but considering the fact that many of the farmer are from Punjab, then the central government’s crackdown against them in parallel with its plans to ruin their profession through Modi’s “big bang” (“Great Reset”) could lead to more of them supporting the Khalistani cause. The Indian government is thus goring itself on the horns of a dilemma entirely of its own making by either standing back and risking the scenario that furious farmers form the core of a “coalition of malcontents” or cracking down on them more harshly and thus pushing them towards Khalistan.

Andrew Korybko

The writer is an American Moscow-based political analyst specialising in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He tweets at @AKorybko

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


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