22
Jul

Farmers Protest: Permission

   Posted by: aman   in Other

Day 239

Toll 546

Permission

Late night, the Delhi government allowed the Kisan Sansad – Farmers Parliament to be conducted at the Jantar Mantar lawns. The police will pick 200 Samyukt Kisan Morcha and 6 Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee delegates every morning and bring them to the venue.

The mock Parliament will run from 11 am to 5 pm, every day of the main Parliament monsoon session. However, no march will be allowed. This was reported in most mainstream media outlets last night. The SKM response is awaited.

No one, least of all I, wants a confrontation. At this stage, after eight months in the struggle, after the demand clearly stated – repeal Farm Laws and legalise MSP – after the government adamant that no talks will include provision to repeal laws, this seems like a minor victory for farmers.

This is classic neo-liberalism: keep dissent contained, do not let it upturn the cart, make allowance for limited dissent. Someone once explained neo-liberalism and protest spaces to me: it is like a pressure cooker with allowance for whistles. In fact, whistles tell us when the broth is cooked. That is exactly what has happened here.

Also, notice that though right from the beginning KMSC was not with SKM, now it is openly negotiating with the government. Yes, the events of January 26 drove a wide a gap between them. But six months have passed, the gaps could have been bridged.

Meanwhile, some people claiming to be BJP workers got into confrontation with farmers from Singhu protest site at the Western Peripheral Highway. The farmers repelled them. Baldev Singh Sirsa’s hunger strike unto death at Sirsa, Haryana has entered the fifth day today. He is demanding that five youth farmers arrested under charges of sedition be released. His health is weakening, the pressure on administration is mounting.

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