The much-vaunted tractor rally by the protesting farmers on the occasion of Republic Day has resulted in a spike in recruitment to ensure a ‘spectacle’. Things are getting so desperate that the people who are refusing to join the tractor villages are being imposed a fine by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), so much for the so-called “World’s largest protest”.
Those who like to be perceived as the harbingers of free speech are now imposing a steep fine on anyone who refuses to join the tractor rally — which is just another means of blackmailing the Central government to repeal the revolutionary farm laws.
Two Punjab villages have landed in soup after they decided to force people to join the tractor rally by imposing fines on non-participants. The Bhullerheri village in Sangrur has decided to impose a fine of Rs 2,100, whereas, Rauke Kalan in Moga will charge Rs 1,200 on the non-participants.
It is pertinent to note that the announcement of the imposition of a fine was made in Sangrur at a village Gurudwara with the leaders of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) in attendance. It is clear that such decisions are being taken at the behest and the insistence of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal). In fact, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) President Jasber Singh, Avtar Singh and Bhupender Singh themselves announced the decision to impose fines on the non-participants in the presence of local residents.
“It has been unanimously decided that those not willing to join the tractor rally will have to pay Rs 2,100. You consider it a fine or contribution for diesel expenses but the decision is final,” read the announcement made by Bharatiya Kisan Union.
However, BKU leaders didn’t stop here. They then proceeded to threaten the non-participants as they claimed that those who won’t join the rally will not get any support from the farmer union in the future.
Hence, the Bharatiya Kisan Union leaders are using a two-pronged strategy to force people to participate in the tractor rally – one, by imposing a steep fine and second, by threatening a social boycott.
Such is the desperation of the organisers of the tractor rally that the farmers have been asked to contribute Rs 100 per acre for the rally. The volunteers have been demanding that at least one member from each family should join enter the rally.
The desperate measures by the Bharatiya Kisan Union leaders go against the tenets of India’s democratic fabrics. The authorities must ensure that only people who are willing join the rally, and no social boycott or fines are imposed on those who wish to not join the rally and unnecessarily disrupt the functioning of the country.