Farmers Protest: Disha – Direction

   Posted by: aman   in Other, Punjab

Day 84

Toll 236

Missing 16

Jailed 132 (including veterans. Some out on bail. Lawyers pursuing other cases)


Disha – Direction

Now that quite justifiably urban middle class is outraged over Disha Ravi’s improper arrest from Bangalore by a special police force from Delhi, where are we on the original farmers protest?

Note the chronology. In that note how each event was a further distraction from the issue of Farm Laws. Timeline:

- 22nd January: 11th round of farmers talks with government fail. Farmers reject the government’s proposal to postpone implementation of Farm Laws by 18 months. Insist on repeal.

- 23rd January: Samyukt Kisan Morcha, in consultation with Delhi police, uni-laterally decides to change route for Tractor March.

- 25th January: Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee announces it will march on original announced route – on Delhi’s Ring Road.

- 26th January: chaos, Nishan Sahib on Red Fort, major false allegations of Khalistan Flag hoisted. Tricolour untouched, no desecration of historical premises, even in FIRs lodged by police 17 hours after incident.

- 27th January: 31 January: SMK on backfoot, major blame game on, debate on whether Navreet was shot or not, sedition charges on journalists, cases on farmer union leaders. Hundreds arrested comes to light. Singhu protest site wobbly.

- 28th January: Rakesh Tikait holds forth in Ghazipur. Thousands of farmers from Haryana and UP respond to his late-night call, reach Delhi. Sikhs saved from another 1984.

- 29th January: Goons attack KMSC stage, 40-50 injured. Cracks between SKM and KMSC apparent. Hundreds still missing.

- 1st February: Police barricades Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur. Internet intermittent on sites. Electricity and water cut. Food shortages.

- 2nd February: Rihanna, Greta, Meena, other celebrities and activists tweet. Indian film stars and sportspeople respond though boiler plate tweets. MEA issues notice, calls world outrage an ‘internal matter’ for India.

- 3rd-8th February: Farce debate in Parliament. Laws are already passed. PM labels protesters, government declares it is firm on Laws. Nodeep issue rises. Meanwhile Greta tweets ‘toolkit’ – a high school level template for action that government calls seditious, files an FIR. ‘Chakka Jam’ call by unions hugely successful at 3000 places around country.

- 9th February: Deep Sidhu arrested as ‘main instigator’ behind Red Fort flag fracas. Reward for Lakha Sidhana.

- 12 February: Rajasthan Toll Tax boycott successful, ongoing.

- 13 February night: Disha Ravi picked up over tool-kit.

- 14 February: Major middle-class outrage. Candle Light March in honour of Pulwama martyrs meets tepid response in cities.

- 30th January – ongoing: Protests sites back in strength. Major mahapanchayats in northern states, lakhs commit to oppose Laws.

I understand urban middle class are finally now waking up that if Disha can be arrested, their children or they themselves also can be arrested. As I said earlier, anyone, coming from any side in solidarity with farmers protests is welcome. But do notice how many distractions the government threw in since January 26th – Hindu vs Sikh, Sikh vs Left, Union vs Union, Politicians vs People, BJP vs others, twitter battles, MEA stepping in, FIRs, arrests … If the protests are a game of cards, each distraction is a Joker. Each distraction can spin the core protests.

Ask yourselves how we could have avoided these distractions if we were together from the beginning? You see the vortex of all issues is the same – arrogance and apathy of the government and the structural and direct violence it has unleashed. Many, many of us have suffered it. Some think they are immune, but actually it will come into each of our homes – sooner or later. Most likely, sooner.

That is exactly why we must join together else each of us will be individually minced. Imagine, just imagine, if we were to force a repeal on laws, what space that would open, how much more we will be able to achieve. What would it do to the arrogance of the regime? But for that, we need to be together. After all, whichever suffering group we might be, we all eat food.

PS: the timeline I provided is from recent memory, before we lose count. Apologies for any errors. Please suggest corrections.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 17th, 2021 at 3:11 pm and is filed under Other, Punjab. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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