Pranay Vivek Patil answered a few questions during our Interview with him. He gave us non political answers to questions that have been becoming too political these days. Patil’s fresh perspective on the issues of farmers and the Ram mandir was unique.
What do you think are the problems with the farmers’ bill?
The constitution is the soul of a democracy and there are a lot of things going on in the back end that determines its fate. It is the moral obligation of a government that is elected by the people of India to take unbiased decisions. The key provisions of the Farmers Bill are to help the small farmers (86% of total farmers) to get better price at the market. This act on Agri market allows farmers to sell their produce outside APMC ‘mandis’ to the buyers that they want. While this law sounds quite appealing, there are some obvious drawbacks. I talked to some of the farmers about the same and they said that, “The recent laws enacted at the centre will dismantle the minimum support price (MSP) system. Over time big corporate will dictate the terms and the farmers will have to face the consequences.”
What is your main gripe with the government’s introduction of the farmers bill ?
My main concern with the farmers bills is the lethal combination of an amendment to the essential commodities act and an inclination towards the privatisation of the agricultural sector. It will allow big shot businessmen to stockpile essential commodities so as to have an upper hand in price negotiations with the farmers for purchase of their produce. Mr. Patil was very worried when he said this.
How has your foundation been going about these farmers issues in the past and what solutions do you suggest?
There are issues with not fixing MSP etc but things like MSP etc can always be mended later and are not as important right now. Privatisation in agriculture is never a long-term solution. Mending the APMC Mandi’s is. Abhaji has always fought for the farmers and we will too. We stood for the farmers and protested actively against government no matter which party was in power. We protested for Mahadayi as we are protesting for a change in the farmers bill today. When it comes to farmers we have and always will push politics aside- said Patil.
What do you think about the Ram mandir’s construction Mr. Patil ?
I think we all should open heartedly welcome the Supreme court’s verdict. There are major concerns that we should be talking about. I think the verdict is more than fair for everyone. Everyone is getting what they wanted from this. Being a Ram bhakt myself I am very pleased with it. I am sure everyone is happy and that is a victory for any democracy. I really pity the ones who think that talking against a temple makes them very progressive. I ask them to talk against social stigmas because that is real forward thinking and not pitty patying around issues with vested interests for their personal gains.- said Patil