The alleged farmers of Punjab have been protesting against the revolutionary farm laws passed by the Parliament during the Monsoon session early this year. In furtherance to their protests, fuelled by political motivations and hidden agendas, the protesters have entered Delhi and are causing disarray in the national capital. During the course of the protests, several untoward incidents have revealed the true nature of these protests, which seem to be unconcerned with the actual well being of farmers. Fraught with mischievous elements, this protest is drastically harming the image of the farmers.
With the conduct of the protest, it is clear that the movement is highly politically motivated. The most obvious fact which corroborates this is that only the farmers from Punjab, which is a Congress-ruled state, are protesting against the laws. No other farmer anywhere in the country is voicing an issue, even though the laws are equally applicable to all the farmers in the country. As a matter of fact, no such protest was witnessed in Punjab when the said laws had first come into existence, albeit as central government ordinances. It was only in the Monsoon Parliament Session that the issue of the farm laws being anti-Punjab gained prominence.
It is, thus, clear that farmers from Punjab have been fed lies over the farm bills. The vested interests by certain groups and political parties have managed to spread misinformation in Punjab like wildfire. The opposition to BJP saw this as an opportunity to sharpen its political offensive against the centre, irrespective of the damage this action is accruing on the genuine farmers.
From the part-time leader, Rahul Gandhi, sympathetically listening to the alleged farmers’ woes, to Amarinder Singh and Ashok Gehlot introducing bills in Punjab and Rajasthan to counter the centre’s farm bills, each Congress leader exploited the situation to the fullest.
Now it seems Aam Aadmi Party is following the Congress’ footsteps. The Delhi government welcomed the protesting farmers as their “guests” on Friday and made elaborate arrangements for their food, drinking water, and shelter. By doing so, the AAP is looking to gain a major foothold in Punjab for the 2022 Assembly elections. In its debut assembly elections in Punjab in 2017, AAP had bagged a substandard 20 seats. With this stamp of approval on the ongoing protests, AAP is igniting the farmers to go on an offence against the centre and is also gaining their support for the 2022 elections, killing two birds with one stone.
PM Modi, on his part, while assuring the farmers, hit out at the opposition during his speech in Varanasi yesterday. While steadfastly standing in favour of the laws, he covertly targeted the opposition and said that a new trend has surfaced in the country where protests are based on creating doubts through misinformation. He said, “(BJP’s) Work is being done with intentions as pure as Ganga Jal.”
In a democracy, since, every organisation, community or individual has the right to peacefully protest, some might deem the farmers’ cause as honourable. However, as the real elements in this protest come to light, one sees the protest as anything but honourable. The most disturbing of these is the involvement of Khalistani elements.
From the videos that have been resurfaced, the protesters can be heard issuing threats to Prime Minister Modi. An alleged farmer is heard saying, “December 3 ko meeting hai, agar hal koi hua toh thik hai nahin toh…aap jaante nahin…hamare shaheed Udham Singh ne goro ko Canada me jake thoka…Indira thok di…Modi ki chhati mein…”(If no solution is reached at in the December 3 meeting, you don’t know, our shaheed Udham Singh shot the colonisers in Canada. Indira Gandhi was taken down. Similarly, in Modi’s chest…”).
Along with threatening India’s leaders, the protestors are also praising Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. A protester was heard saying, “Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan is our friend. Our enemy is sitting in Delhi.” In addition to all this, one can also see posters galore of separatist Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in the protests. Perhaps the most distressing part is that under the garb of protesting against ‘farm laws’, the protesters are hoisting ’Khalistan’ flags in Delhi.
The organisation ‘United Against Hate’, which played a major role in instigating the Delhi riots and has links to Umar Kahlid, is now supporting the alleged farmers as they embark on a Khalistani movement.
Over and above this, the farmer unions are speaking in favour of middlemen, which the laws aimed to eliminate. Bhartiya Kisan Union is stating that the middlemen will suffer losses due to these laws.
#FarmersProtest | "The government is saying that they have introduced the new farm laws to eliminate the middlemen. We are asking them to define 'middlemen'": Farmers address the media pic.twitter.com/bDfaRauVTm
— NDTV (@ndtv) November 29, 2020
Since the time of independence, poor farmers have suffered and have been exploited at the hands of middlemen. After decades of ignorance, the central government under PM Modi has stepped in to intervene and abolish the middleman system for the well being of the poor farmers. Farmers now allegedly claiming they want the middlemen around is a paradox and clearly motivated by vested interests.
People were earlier sympathetic to the cause when it was perceived that the movement was aimed at addressing genuine farmer grievances and misinformation. However, with the political involvement and vested interests of certain influential groups, coupled with the inclusion of Khalistani and other anti-national elements, this movement has taken a downward turn. The presence of untoward components in the movement has diluted the apparent cause. If the protest continues along this path, all it will do is further harm the image of the farmers.