What happened in New Delhi on the day of Republic Day was very much expected. The way in which both parties, especially the government, are not listening to each other’s super charged emotions and needs, violence is guaranteed. If the Indians want peaceful resolution of this farm bill conflict then they will have to sit down on table and carefully and honestly listen to each others’ needs. Calling names, accusing each other of wrongdoing etc., is only going to result in a war.
A non-violent and peaceful solution of any conflict requires that both parties first understand their own feelings and needs behind those feelings and then carefully observe the same of the opposing party. And then a process of clear-cut precise communication of these needs and what is being requested from the other party to fulfill those needs must take place. Only when there is this compassionate peaceful communication between the conflicting parties, there is any chance of negotiation and finding out proper strategy for resolving the conflict.
In the case of the ongoing Farm bill protest, scope of such communication is very low. Why? Because in this case the needs of both parties seem antagonistic. The government wants to control the farmers in a different way, and the farmers want freedom from such type of government control; they want the old system to continue.
If we dig little bit deeper and assume honesty on the part of the government then needs of both parties are the same. We can see that, the government wants betterment of the country by improving the farming sector and I am sure the farmers are also looking to better their condition and country’s. If this is true then the needs of both parties are in harmony. They are one and the same. Then the only problem here is proper communication between the government and the farmers. If the above need is the actual honest need of the government then they should very clearly and precisely communicate that need to the farmers in a friendly way. I am sure if that process is being carried out then farmers will have nothing to complain about because their need is also the same. They will understand the whole matter and can then trust the government and the whole conflict will get resolved immediately and peacefully.
In above case the fault is on the part of the government because they are not clearly communicating what they are aiming at with these bills. Their own actions are making them a suspect in the eyes of the farmers. The whole secretive way of functioning of this government is the root cause of this problem. The way this government is adamant about not listening to anyone but few individuals in the government like the Prime Minister and the Home Minister is the root cause of this and all other such problems. On paper the government is nothing but a representative agent of the citizens and this protesting farmers are very much citizens of India. Their needs and requests must be taken into consideration before enacting any bills that are going to affect their lives. Not doing so will only result in disharmony, conflict, war and violence. And that end result is exactly opposite to the goal of betterment of farmers and India!
And if we drop the assumption of honesty on the part of the government, which is a more realistic thing to do looking at the nature of the state, then violence is again guaranteed because when needs of both people and government officials are antagonistic, there is no scope of any negotiation and peaceful resolution. One must necessarily prevail over the other leaving the losing party in discontent. Such deep grudges will flare up more violence in future.
This is the classical principal-agent problem of democracy. As Hans Hermann Hoppe has demonstrated, this is why democracies result into conflict and violence instead of harmony and peace. Such policies will not make India but they will break it. And that is what looks like to be the destiny of this Indian nation state.