To end the ongoing impasse on the new agricultural laws, the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of the three agricultural laws. The court has constituted a committee of four members and has asked it to give its report after talking to both the parties. The special thing is that the people involved in this committee have openly advocated for agricultural laws. Their names are Bhupendra Singh Mann, Ashok Gulati, Pramod Joshi, and Anil Ghanawat. Let us know about them in detail here.
Bhupendra Singh Mann- Born in Gujranwala (now in Pakistan), Bhupendra Singh Mann was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1990 for his contribution to the farmers’ struggle. He remained a member of the Upper House until 1996. Presently he is the President of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU).
Last December, he met the Union Agriculture Minister with a delegation and talked about implementing the three laws with some changes. He had said, “Reforms are needed to make agriculture competitive, but necessary measures should be taken to protect the interests of farmers, as well as correcting discrepancies.” Initially, Bhupendra Singh Mann’s organization was part of the protests.
Pramod Kumar Joshi – Born in Almora, Uttarakhand in 1953, Dr. Pramod Kumar Joshi is a well-known name in the field of agricultural research. Joshi has previously served as the director of the National Academy of Agricultural Research Management, Hyderabad, and the director of the National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research in New Delhi. He also held the position of Director (South Asia) at the International Food Policy Research Institute in New Delhi. He was appointed as a director in 2012.
In a recent article, he said that “any shortfall in agricultural laws will force Indian agriculture to exploit emerging global opportunities.” Strongly endorsing the merits of the laws in the article, he said that “in the absence of effective communication, farmers fall prey to misinformation.”
Ashok Gulati – A noted agricultural economist, Gulati is a professor of agriculture at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). He is also the former Chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), Government of India (2011–14). Ashok Gulati had argued in an article in the Indian Express that farm laws are in the right direction. He remarked that the opposition had been misled. Said that the laws “will make Indian agriculture globally competitive, and benefit the farmers.”
Gulati was the youngest member of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Economic Advisory Council and a member of the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Economic Advisory Council and also a member of the Karnataka State Planning Board.
Gulati was awarded the Padma Shri Award in 2015 from the President for his contribution. In a column written for the Indian Express, Gulati had said that the central government had failed to properly convince the farmers about the new agricultural laws and their benefits.
Anil Ghanwat – Anil Ghanawat is currently the president of the Maharashtra-based Sangh Shetkari Sangathan. It was founded by farmer leader Sharad Joshi. The union was one of the first organizations to support farm reforms announced by the central government. The body was also included in the group of farmers’ union, which had met Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar for its support of agricultural laws, against which thousands of farmers are protesting on Delhi’s borders.
According to Ghanawat “The law restricts the power of the APMC to regulate agricultural trade within its walls and allows genuine free markets to operate for farmers.”