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The farmers' protest should not lose steam

The farmers protest should not lose steam

A scene at the tractor on Republic Day in Delhi. (Photo courtesy: Times of India)

The farmers' protests which started on the 26th of November against the farm laws - which threaten to put farmers and a majority of the Indian subcontinent in starvation - has reached a turning point with the clash between the security forces and the protesting farmers on Republic day. The clashes which erupted on the 72nd Republic day, have become an excuse for tarnishing the democratic protests. Farmers' organisations, which have been spearheading the protests even boycotting the tea and snacks from ministers who called for a meeting, resisting temptations and provocations, and vigilantly catching infiltrators and battling several accusations, were placed in a fix with the events that ensued at New Delhi. With this, the central government is attempting to entangle the protests in legal hurdles alleging them to be violent. when the protest continue to be unresolved despite 11 rounds of negotiations,

The clash at Delhi, which resulted in the death of a civilian and injured several including policemen is evidence for the failure of the central government which controls the capital city. The Centre made a gross mistake in underestimating the resolve of the strikers who protested after preparation for weeks ultimately resulting in the massive outpour into the national capital. The Centre failed to take necessary steps despite giving permission to an event of the protests which had its impact on the Punjab in particular and the Hindi belt in general. The retaliation by the forces with tear gas and lathi charge further aggravated the crisis. It is, however, relieving that the forces and the agitators did not engage in a bloodbath. Even then, it is a security lapse of the government that the protestors hoisted the Sikh flag atop the Rred Fort. The Centre, coupled with anti-protestors, are in an attempt to conceal this drawback and extinguish the protests.

Samyuktha Kisaan Morcha (SKM) on Wednesday revealed that the events of the day were the outcome of the conspiracy of the Centre by negotiating with a faction of the protesters. They allege that the unfortunate events including the occupation of the Red Fort was the result of the Centre's conspiracy when threatened by the Kisan parade. The statement further adds that the Satnam Singh Pannu-led Kisan Mazdoor Sangarsh Samiti (MKSC) made the decision to start the rally two hours prior to the schedule and take over the Red Fort. It is suspicious that though KMSC had announced this earlier, the government failed to take action. Likewise was the intervention of Deep Sidhu who had campaigned for the Sangh Parivar. Sidhu led the faction that hoisted the nishaan sahib, the triangular flag representing Sikh faith, atop the Red Rort which has triggered the narrative that the protest is led by terrorist forces. Emergence of evidence that Sidhu had campaigned for the BJP and is a close ally of Amit Shah and Modi supports the allegations of conspiracy. The Sangh Parivar and its affiliated media have been trying to frame the protestors as Khalistanis since the beginning of the protests. Though the godi media did the rounds that the flag hoisted represents Khalistan, the rumor mongering was short lived. Two years ago, in April 2018, the Modi government leased out the Red fort to Dalmia Cement for five years. Social media condemned the hue and cry of the Modi government on the undermining of the Indian heritage site which they had mortgaged for Rs 250 million. However, the protest against the anti-farmer measures of the government has evolved into an exceptional one across the globe. Groups spearheading the protests have repeated that the protests cannot be undermined by introducing intruders and will go forth until demands are met.

The Centre must come forward to resolve the problems of the farmers and the public. The public shall realise that raising flags of protest against the sale of heritage sites like the Red Fort, farmlands and produce to business monopolies is not seditious. It is their prayer that the protest must not fall. If it does, the country - now already with a broken back will never stand upright again.

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TAGS:Farmer protest Tractor Rally R-Day incidents Red Fort flag hoisting 
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