March 6th marked the completion of 100 days of the tussle between agitated farmers and the obvious reluctance of the Central Government.
The functionary silence of the central government when it comes to having the top guns hold dialogue with the leaders of the protests, only speaks a million words.
The farmers laid down their lives, livelihood and personal well being hoping for the government to finally observe and notice them. However, it was to no avail.
This obvious reluctance of the government to effectively amend the laws, or roll them back, has caused the obvious destruction of mistrust between the public and the government. What the farmers are calling for is nothing much but stability.
As much as the government wants the country to thrive, it doesn’t understand the cause of the presence of the word ‘democratic’ stated in the Preamble.
A Story Of Struggle And Unity: The Farmers Protests
September 2020 marked a strange month in India’s history. As the country was recovering from the persisting COVID-19 virus, on came the Central Government’s announcement of the Farm Bills. The three Bills were passed in the Parliament under rather dubious circumstances, to say the least.
As the bills were passed, the flak of the farmer fraternity did not provide the government with the chance to say ‘stop’. The streets were filled with farmers, from Maharashtra to Rajasthan to Punjab to Uttar Pradesh, the farmers had riled up.
The Central Government, however, failed to react to the agitation and stood steadfast in making the bills the rule of the land.
From the very beginning, the basic qualm of the farmers had been concerning the fear of being exploited by the conglomerates owing to the uncertainty of the bills not containing details on the Minimum Selling Price (MSP).
The farmers thus demanded that the bills be rolled back or another bill be tabled in front of the Parliament concerning itself, specifically, with the MSP. Yet, this demand fell on deaf ears. Thus began the ‘Dilli Chalo’ movement.
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The farmers’ protest was specifically led by farmers belonging to the State of Punjab, and they had vowed to enter the capital city by hook or by crook. The beginning of the protest at the Singhu border in the month of November marked the first day in the space of 100 days.
As they demanded entry into the city, the Delhi Police greeted them with the sharp, cold spray of water cannons and the stingy kiss of tear gas. Yet, through this repression, the farmers remained undeterred.
Pizzas, massage chairs and langars found a way into the movement. It was only fair that India’s ‘annadatas’ get the best of treatment.
Yet, the news of the stalled farmers at Singhu Border was met by the government with a shrug of a shoulder. They still didn’t care as Modi dubbed them, they were ‘andolanjeevis.’
The government’s inaction thus led to a day that shall stay ingrained in the memories of every other Indian. On Republic Day, the protests turned on its head. The farmers proceeded to obliterate the barriers leading to Red Fort, and thus began the storming of the Red Fort by the farmers.
The day, initially, was marked as the Farmers Tractor Rally, however, upon being denied entry into the Red Fort region, tractors rolled the barriers over. Lathi charge had become the norm of the day while the stray stone found its way onto a police officer’s head.
The Government’s Stand On The Protests
However, as of now, things seem much more grounded and in control, with the government still seeking to stretch the bill’s legality out to the point the farmers lose patience and stop protesting, or worse.
However, Narendra Singh Tomar, stated that the government was ready to amend the farm laws and that in itself can be counted as a win.
Yet, victory is miles away. The government still believes that the movement is a ploy by China and Pakistan to destroy India’s credibility as a nation.
This is coming at a time when the immediate government and its stooges believe that celebrities from other countries talking about our country is a criminal offence.
Someone should inform the Delhi Police that Greta Thunberg is not a citizen of India. I would rather stay mum about the toolkit incident for as it stands a Google document is a piece of incriminating evidence that is worse than terrorism.
The suppression of the government knows no bounds as such, as the farmers were pent up inside a walled cell as barricades were laid around the periphery of the protesting farmers at Singhu.
These barriers were then replaced by walls. This specific area was privy to a special form of suppression that has been called by the United Nations to be a human rights violation.
The government had effectively blocked all network services thus stopping all information traffic in the area. Honestly, at this point, I am not surprised (remember Kashmir?).
After 248 deaths and 100 days, the farmer’s protest finds itself at a juncture at which they shall not return empty handed. The Western Peripheral Expressway was blocked on Saturday to mark the 100th day of the movement and the start of the harvesting season.
But, as the thing with perseverance goes, there’s no looking back. And, India’s farmers know a thing or two about perseverance.
Is it finally time for the government to hang its boots and give in?
Image Source: Google Images
Sources: Money Control, One India, The Indian Express, India Today
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