The alleged farmers from Punjab and Haryana, who, under the aegis of various unions, are surrounding Delhi and camping in the National Capital Region, are increasingly making it clear that there is nothing really authentic about the protests, and that they, in fact, are a re-run of the circus which was put on display in Shaheen Bagh. In more ways than one, the protests of these farmers bear an eerie resemblance to those of misinformed crowds at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh. The only difference really is that while the government is talking to the farmers who are protesting, Shaheen Bagh activists were not extended any similar courtesies.
For starters, the farmers from Punjab are agitated over a cause which does not exist. A non-issue is being turned into an existential crisis for them by certain political parties, vested interest groups and of course, separatists. The farmers of Punjab are being made to believe that the MSP regime is being done away with and that their precious farmlands are being given away to private industrialists without their consent.
Also, government procurement of their products, according to them, is about to come to a grinding halt. To put it simply, these are all lies and not more than mere figments of imagination. Such falsities have been spread by political parties and vested interest groups to attempt a massive strongarming of the Modi government, which much to their chagrin, is not working.
If memory would serve our readers right, in Shaheen Bagh also, an entire ‘movement’ was founded on fallacious lies of a few. That Muslims were on the verge of being disenfranchised and deported off to some alien country by a toxic combination of CAA-NRC was the most famous fictional lie propounded by Islamists and rabid India-haters. Further, the Indian state trying to bog down the free voice of India’s minorities and marginal communities added to the spice of Shaheen Bagh. Here too, the protests for a hilarious non-issue were conducted with the tacit support of political parties, outfits and Islamist groups.
The methodologies of the two protests also bear a striking resemblance to each other. It must be remembered that during the Shaheen Bagh protests, an arterial road connecting Noida and Delhi was blocked by misinformed and freelance protestors. The protests of alleged farmers are seeing the same now unfold. While there is no ‘blockade’ of roads per se, nevertheless, the national capital has been somewhat gheraoed and can be blocked if the protestors so decide. Nevertheless, in Punjab, the farmers have already accomplished denting the state’s economy by blockading crucial rail lines for a prolonged period of time. Only late last month, the rail blockade by farm unions was called off.
How can one give a miss to the ‘kudrati biryani’ which seems to have become a trademark of anti-government protests of late? In Shaheen Bagh, the same was available in abundance, and many protestors joined in only to avail the delicious free meals, apart from allegedly also being paid on a daily basis for their presence. Now, at Ghazipur, visuals of Biryani distribution to farmers also sent social media users into a fit of chuckling, as the similarity between the two protests came out in the open with all grandeur.
— TOI Delhi (@TOIDelhi) November 30, 2020
Shaheen Bagh protests were replete with anti-India and anti-Hindu rhetoric. The prevalence of such rhetoric formed the basis of the government not even caring to engage with the said elements who had masterminded the protests. Of course, the Shaheen Bagh protests had climaxed with the anti-Hindu riots of northeast Delhi in February. One only hopes that such a devastating scenario will not be witnessed again in the national capital, or elsewhere.
Another similarity between the protests is that of the presence of ‘dadi’ Biklis Bano, who shot to fame for initiating the anti-India Shaheen Bagh protests. The said Shaheen Bagh superstar had also tried to reach Delhi borders to join the farmers in their protests but was detained by the police.
The farmers’ protests too, have been hijacked by Khalistanis, with many separatists infiltrating the anti-government campaign to make it an anti-India one. The only positive signs which seem to be emerging from the farmers’ protests are that talks with the Centre are ongoing, and one hopes that an end to the misinformed protests can be brought about as soon as possible.