What are the methods used by the Farmers organizations to influence the policy- makers in India and how effective are these methods?
Farmers Organisations have adopted a wide range of methods to influence policymakers:
Prayers and Petitions
These Organisations through prayers and petitions to the legislators and executive draw attentions towards various demands. Ex: Meeting Finance Minister during pre-budget discussions.
Protests and Bandhs
It is one of the very popular form used by the organisations to draw the attention of policymakers. Ex: Sansad Chalo from Sugarcane farmers demanding clearing of dues.
Vote Bank Politics
Farmers form a major factor of vote bank politics. Often the political parties try to allude farmers by organising Farmers gathering during elections.
Often these farmers organisations directly fight the elections and enter Parliament and State Assemblies. Ex: Political outfits such as Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha
Effectiveness of these Methods
It is not easy for any elected government to ignore the sentiments of the farming Community not only because farmers themselves are more in absolute numbers also because those engaged in other occupations have strong roots related to farming.
These methods often revoke some kind of temporary relief like hike in MSPs, loan waiver (especially during elections), assurances to meet their demand at earliest. Lack of structured and coherence organisational structure results in an inability to do a regular follow up. As a result their demands often get down to cold storage. Hence it would not be cynical to say that the effectiveness of the methods are largely underwhelming in gaining any tangible benefits in long term.