The farmers’ protest is gaining momentum; the farmers protesting against the three contentious ordinances have called for a nationwide call – ‘Bharat Band’ in a signal to the Modi Government that they will not back down from their demands.
The nationwide strike tomorrow will start at 11 am until 3 pm; the farmers have been protesting near the national capital since November 26.
The central government has tried to appease the protesting farmers and have held five rounds of talks. Still, no solution to the farmers’ stir is in sight.
The protesting farmers at Delhi’s Singh border, ahead of the Tuesdays ‘Bharat Bandh,’ have said that the ‘Bandh’ will start at 11 am until 3 pm, such that the general public do not face any problems and have also clarified that no shops or establishments will be forcefully shut down on account of the bundh and have assured that it will be a peaceful protest.
In its capacity, the center has directed the states and Union Territories to tighten security ahead of the Bandh and ensure that peace and tranquility are maintained during the ‘Bharat Bandh.’
In a countrywide advisory issued, the Union Home Ministry has also asked the states and Union Territories to ensure that there is no violation in Covid -19 guidelines regarding health and social distancing.
The farmers’ call of ‘Bharat Band’ has received nationwide support and growing support from Unions and Opposition parties.
The protesting farmers have assured that they will not give space to any political party and that the protest will be held peacefully.
However, the support that the farmers have garnered through the states and the various unions, be it banks, motor transport, cabs, and Taxi unions, has further added fuel to their protests.
Anna Hazare has also called out for farmers across India to take to the streets to support the ongoing protests.
Meanwhile, Sunny Deol, actor and BJP MP from Gurdaspur, has shown his solidarity both with the protesting farmers as well as supporting the center’s decision regarding the three farm bills.
The farmers’ protest has met with certain reservations from the Modi Government who are not willing to give in to the farmers’ demands.
In fact, the central government took all measures to stop the farmers from entering Delhi. From lathi charging to tear-gassing the farmers, digging of national highways such that they find it challenging to enter Delhi, all possible impediments had been put in the path of the protesting farmers.
While the Modi government is firm on its stance and irrespective of five rounds of talks with the protesting farmers, it seems that neither side wants to back down.
But the Modi government might actually have disturbed a hornet’s nest. There is increasing dissent amongst the general public and even some whispering in the industrial corridors.
The country is on a downward spiral with regards to the economy, which had been slowing even before the Covid -19 pandemic, and the indications of the same were evident in every sector, be it Manufacturing, Infrastructure, Finance, Agri, and such. The strain on the economy was showing its sign in demand and supply. However, with the pandemic in full swing, the cracks are getting deeper.
The common man caught between high inflation, rising fuel prices, job loss, and the government’s inability to control or come up with adequate policies to take the economy out of the downward spiral has left many seething.
The problems seem to have further compounded with several banking scams and the depositors unable to withdraw money except in emergencies due to the guidelines issued on cap in withdrawals.
The call for Bharat bandh has been supported throughout the country –
- In Delhi, most of the traders have extended their support hence mandis at Ghazipur, Okhla, and Narela will be impacted, and it is anticipated that fruits and vegetables will be in short supply tomorrow in Delhi and surrounding areas.
- The call has seen support from Asia’s largest wholesale market and the sentiments of the protesting farmers found a voice in Adil Ahmed Khan, Chairman of Azadpur Mandi.
- The Vashi Agricultural Produce Market Committee in Maharashtra would be shut tomorrow; hence, Mumbai’s fruits and vegetable supply might be hit. The cabs and busses will usually ply as per the guidelines issued by the Maharashtra government. They have also said that patrolling in many areas will be done in Mumbai to prevent untoward incidents.
- The protest is also being backed by cabs and Taxi unions, including those that are app-based.
- Several bank unions have also called for black – band protest to support protesting farmers; however, no banking services will be affected tomorrow.
- The supply truck movements in many areas might get affected as India’s motors’ transport unions have also extended their support.
- The Bandh is most likely to be observed in its full display of support in Punjab. Some of the opposition parties are also planning to show their support to the farmers by holding Sit – in protests and are likely in Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, and northeast states of Tripura ns Assam, besides others.
- Ahead of the bandh borders along with Singh, Auchandi, Piao Maniyari, Mangesh borders are closed.
- NH-44 is closed on both sides. The Chilla border on Noida link road is closed from Noida to Delhi. The Gazipur border on NH-24 is closed for traffic from Gaziabad to Delhi. “Avoid Outer Ring Rd, GT Karnal Road,” the Delhi Traffic police tweeted, suggesting alternative routes.
Amid the protest, Narendra Modi, ahead of Bharat Bandh tomorrow, said that reforms are needed for development and some laws from the past century have become a burden now and that they needed to be changed for the new order and to give new facilities.
But while this pitch may sound very promising, and the narrative fresh and uplifting, the country’s mood is not very promising.