By Tamanna InamdarThe Supreme Court has come in because it wants to help the government to find a way out and so it has asked for this particular expert committee to be formed, says Swaminathan Aiyar, Consulting Editor, ET NowWhat is your take on the farm law episode so far? Many are of the view that the Supreme Court shouldn’t have stayed a law passed by parliament. Also, there is a question mark over committee members because they have publicly endorsed the farm laws.I would say that the Supreme Court has no business to decide what agricultural laws we should or should not have. This is the job of the government. Governments can have different kinds of laws and not necessarily every farmer will agree. The notion that the farmers who are blockading at Delhi represent all farmers is a falsehood. The Maharashtra farmers of the Shetkari Sanghatana are dead against the Punjab-Haryana farmers as is Chengal Reddy and his federation of Indian Farmers Association who are dead against these Punjab-Haryana farmers. Let us not pretend in the first place that the guys who are blockading India are representing all farmers of India. They represent the vested interest of a small number of people, who are among the richest farmers in India. They have been getting the bulk of agricultural subsidies and agricultural procurements. They are out to protect their narrow vested interest rather than the general interest, let alone the farm interest. Why has the Supreme Court intervened? Frankly, this is a question of politics. The Supreme Court has not come in because this is a judicial matter, the Supreme Court has come in because it wants to help the government to find a way out and so it has asked for this particular expert committee to be formed. This expert committee, like a great many other expert committees, will come to the conclusion that these are the kind of farm laws that we need. You can tweak them here and you can tweak them there but the farm laws are the outcome of many expert committees of the past. They have not fallen from heaven and you cannot expect a new expert committee to come out with something different. The Supreme Court and the government are trying to find a way out of the political impasse. Will the farmers let them get away with it? I doubt it. The truth is that in democracies across the world, farmer groups have got together and blackmailed governments into getting all kinds of subsidies and all kinds of special considerations not available to other professions. In many countries farmers are getting double the third world price. In Korea, I am told they are getting 10 times the world price because of these tactics. I would say at the end of it all, who is to decide what is to be produced? Ultimately this is the job of the government. It is another matter that you have this very damaging rice wheat rotation in the north west of India. At the time of the green revolution, it helped India to become self sufficient in food and achieve food surplus status. But it has come at the cost of huge subsidies for power. The Punjab and Haryana farmers have been over pumping and the aquifers are disappearing. All the shallow tube wells ran dry and only the richest farmers with deeper cells are still continuing and they will finish the environment and carry on this way. On top of this when they are burning their stubble between two crops, they are literally killing people with the pollution. They are the most mollycoddled farmers in the whole of India, they do not represent all farmers of India. They come from an area where land prices are Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore an acre, If you have 2 acres in Punjab, you are a crorepati. So please let us not pretend that these guys are anything more than the normal bunch of farmers who in many democracies have managed to pressurise governments and get special facilities. As far as the rights and wrongs are concerned, many expert committees have come to the conclusion that we need reforms along new lines and I am pretty sure the new committee will come to that same conclusion. I am pretty sure the farmers will reject what the new committee suggests. Is there any chance of an amicable solution because without the Punjab and the Haryana farmers on board, these new changes may not even see the light of day?There is nothing new about farm agitation. Ultimately there will be a negotiated deal as that is what happens in democracies. In China, you might just shoot the guys and clear out the roads. In democracies, you allow them to have these demonstrations and block roads. All these things happen and then some kind of deal is struck politically because beyond a point the farmers cannot sit for for the rest of their lives and the government cannot sit idle for the rest of their lives. So, this should be a political matter. As far as I am concerned, the experts have been impartial all this time. There is not one single thing that the farmers are saying now that I have not heard over for decades. We do not know what the farmers owned or what the farmers have. I have heard them and since I have worked internationally, I also know what farmers have said in America, in Japan and in Korea. I am fully aware of farmers’ movements all over the world. Ultimately, this is a political form of lobbying by a vociferous large crowd. This is not a legal issue. Politics by another name is going on. The government is trying to use experts, is trying to use the Supreme Court, is trying to form committees, is trying to find ways to strike a deal. This is not a question of right versus wrong or just versus unjust. It will be a deal between two parties. Bring in the Supreme Court and the expert committee. At the end of it, it will be a political deal and it won’t be stuck very quickly.