Farmers’ movement getting longer

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It seems that resorting to the peaceful Gandhian Satyagraha or protest is the biggest crime in India of-late. For the last two months the Narendra Modi led government has been tolerating the Satyagraha of farmers, but finally he is no more willing to endure it. So far the IT cell and some leaders of the BJP have been threatening and maligning the farmers and their leaders, but now the Modi government is unwilling to maintain any restraint and has declared an all out war against them. Notably, during the last two months of the farmer’s agitation, the government held 11 meetings where they made it very clear that the government will not repeal the agriculture laws. After Friday’s failed meeting, the government has now shown its resolve to confront the farmers. And on a single day three farmer leaders were targeted. While one senior leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa has been arrested, another Darshan Pal is being trolled by the BJP IT cell and the third leader Rakesh Tikait is being threatened with dire consequences once he returns to his home state.

Modi and his party colleagues have made it explicit that the muscular government will not succumb to any protest and will implement its programme even if it is against the interest of the people. Outwardly while Modi has been maintaining the façade of trying to assuage the feelings of the public, from inside his heart he continues to pursue his mission to serve the vested interest of his corporate friends. Any other Prime Minister might have been preferred to rescind the three laws seeing the sufferings and death of 140 farmers. But Modi remains unmoved. He has his own agenda which is much bigger than the agenda of the farmers, who according to the BJP, are being impelled by the Naxalites and Khalistanis. There is no denying the fact that the political system and the parties have provided space and a moral boost to the government. Probably this was the best period in the history of India when the left and other secular parties could have made their significant dent. But they are behaving like ostrich. By not identifying with the protestors, they have been providing passive support to the BJP government and its agenda.

Like the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019 which has gone out of the political discourse soon the three farm laws will lose the peoples’ attention. CAA is now a part of history. Government engaging in talk is the strategy to tire the farmers. Agriculture minister told the farmers that too through the media, “If you reach a decision, inform us. We will discuss it again.” What does this imply? It is also clear that farmers after two months of sustained protest could not accept the defeat. More than the farmers, this situation is a warning to the political system; if they want to be relevant they have to take a plunge. They cannot have a passive look sitting at the periphery. The future of the farmers also depends on the success of the January 26 tractor parade. Nevertheless, it was inspiring to listen to Harpal Singh, president of Bhartiya Kisan Union who said, “We will die here but we will not return without getting the laws repealed.”

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