Farmers Protest: Structural Violence

   Posted by: aman   in Other

Day 74

Toll 208

Missing 123 (official, could be more)

Jailed 120 (not reconciled with above 123)


Structural Violence

If you do not know the term ‘structural violence’, if you do not know the structural violence of the Green Revolution, if you do not know how the new Farm laws are the next phase of the previous structural violence, please look at the figures above again. Ask all possible questions. You may get an idea of what structural violence means.

Now that much is revealed about how the flag fiasco of Republic Day was a trap laid by powers that be using a compromised police and a pliant media, it is time we assess the Tractor March in terms of real violence to civilians, to property private or public. The answer is zero.

If we assess yesterday’s Chakka Jam in terms of violence to police, civilians, property private or public, the answer is zero. In fact, all essential supply lines were allowed. While the 3-hour protest generated nation-wide participation, look at its reporting in media. Near zero. Think about this in terms of previous protests that have happened in the country, especially on calls of the right-wing.

Yesterday, in the Samyukt Kisan Morcha press conference, Panjab Kisan Union leader Ruldu Singh Mansa said (minute 9.45): ‘when we make a call, we look at the conditions in each state to assess whether our call will get us results or not.’ This was in context of the last minute Chakka Jam being called off in Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

Indeed, a Chakka Jam yesterday in UK and UP could have proved detrimental. There is a great upheaval in the masses in those states. There could have been riots. In Delhi, ironically, but as optics to create fear and inconvenience ordinary people, the government closed down 10 Metro stations, 50,000 police was on stand by for a Chakka Jam that never happened.

Calling off Chakka Jam in some states was a wise decision but why did SKM’s explanation come so late in the day, after the event? From my understanding, it is because there is a top-down culture in Panjab – a way of infantilizing the masses. A belief that people do not get it. These are people who have set up cities on the borders, are arranging all basics for themselves which the government is trying to curtail. Why would they not understand? That is why, the leadership should be inclusive and participatory, not judgmental of the masses it is leading.

Anyway, the powers that be realise nothing they do is working. Whatever they try to beat the protests with boomerangs. This does not mean it is easy from here on. It means it will get tougher.

Be prepared for more … meanwhile understand structural violence. Though, of course, my concern now is possibility of literal violence.

Meanwhile, more and more Mahapanchayats are on, at least two a day, lakhs upon lakhs gathering. Communities other than Jats/Jutts/Raitas are participating. The movement is growing.

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