We have all witnessed how the farmers’ protest deteriorated into violence and rioting yesterday, many of us haunted by visuals of rioting and injuries incurred by both sides, the Delhi Police and the clashing farmers.
However, while the protesting farmers have been squarely held responsible for yesterday’s events, in reality, this is the work of a group of people under the leadership of Deep Sidhu and Lakha Sidhana.
They managed to turn this entire event into mass scale rioting.
The farmers protesting the Central Governments farm reforms have been doing so for the last two months and have not had a single law – and – order incident to their credit; they have peacefully, patiently, and with a lot of restraint held their protest so far.
During the beginning and the early stages of the protest, the farmers have been subject to many ills in the police’s hands and by the Central Government’s orders.
In their bid to “Delhi Chalo,” a call which was widely supported by many farmer associations and equally joined by farmers from other neighboring states of Punjab, the early days and through its entirety, the farmers had to go through a lot of opposition and harsh actions on the part of the Government.
The days were marked with orders from the Government to stop the advent of the farmers’ call of “Delhi Chalo”; roads in and around New Delhi were dug up such that the tractors could not come in, the entire area around New Delhi, along its borders, were barricaded.
The protesting farmers were met with and sprayed with water cannons in cold and harsh winter, forced to spend days and nights outside in the extreme cold and without shelter, many times lathi-charged. However, still, they did not resort to any kind of violence.
They took all these adversities in their stride, just as a farmer does and has been doing for years now when it comes to the harsh and challenging role of growing food produce in his fields. He takes in and faces all the adversities, tills his soil, plants the seeds, and cares for until the crop is ready to be harvested and sold.
The debate on introducing farm laws and their advantages to the farmers has been long debated extensively. Some are in favor, and some are against the bill. But in reality, it is only the farmers who can and have the right to say whether the farm reforms are in all actuality in their favor or not.
The truth of Farm Bills, why the corporates benefit, Donations during elections, and expectations
The Government has been adamant in its introduction of the farm bills and has widely and strongly said that they favor the farmers. But are they really?
If you are a farmer looking to sell his harvest, if the Government has abolished MSP (the minimum support price) and no longer buying produce from the farmers, then who is buying from the farmers?
The answer is the ‘corporates’ will be buying from the farmers.
Are the corporates going to ensure that they have a certain minimum price against which they will not offer a lesser price?
The answer is NO.
This means that the farmers are totally dependent on the corporates and the price they offer for their produce.
Is there a guarantee that the price offered is fair?
NO, the corporates will be looking to procure at the most competitive price and maximum profit.
Thus where is the advantage to the farmer?
They will wholly be in the hands of these corporates and will have to meet their demands of what should be produced and what is not needed. This means the demand and the supply are both in the hands of these corporates and not the Government.
The Central Government has completely washed its hands of this entire chain; it has passed the onus and the buck onto the corporates.
Another thing to remember is the fact that these “corporates” give huge amounts of money to political parties to campaign during the election.
This donation is not free and devoid of expectations. The amount of money donated has a direct expectation attached to it – the expectation that when the Government forms policies, the policies initiated will favor the “corporate” that donated enormous amounts of “money” for the election campaign.
It is not difficult to understand the underlying objective of how policies are formed and rolled out.
If it is the betterment of the common man and, in this case, for the farmers’ betterment, the answer is NO.
Delhi Police and it’s double standards
Since the farmers’ protest started, the Delhi police have had a role to play in trying to tick off the protesting farmers. The orders for the Delhi Police is through senior police officials who are receiving orders from the Government.
Would the Delhi Police dig roads in and around New Delhi on its own?
No, it won’t. However, it will do so when the orders come in from a senior position who in turn receive orders from the ministers, who act on the ruling Government’s behest.
The chain of command is long and straight from the top.
Whether it is putting barricades on roads for which permission to hold a rally has already been sought or the spraying of water canons in extreme cold weather and even lathi charging and so on.
To date, in the last 60 days of peaceful protest, 54 farmers have died.
Has the Government reached out to the families of these deceased farmers?
We don’t know.
While on the one hand, permission for the protest to happen on certain roads is given; on the other hand, the protesting farmers are prevented from holding a rally on the same routes for which the permission has already been given.
Where and how does this action make any sense?
For now, it is deplorable that yesterday’s events in the hands of two highly questionable individuals who have nothing to do with agriculture, protesting farmers, and their troubles have put the entire farmer community on the backfoot.
The farmers have been forced to take responsibility for what transpired in the national capital yesterday and on a day, which is exceptionally crucial and regarded with deep respect.
Unfortunately, the Government will be quick to take yesterday’s events as fuel to fire and further their points on the farm bills reforms, and the poor farmers are probably smarting with what transpired, for all of the nation to see and may just be bullied into silence.