23
Jul

Farmers Protest: The Gap

   Posted by: aman   in Other

Day 240

Toll 546+

The Gap

If farmer leader accounts yesterday are to be believed, there were 40000 police personnel to prevent 200 farmers from reaching Jantar Mantar to conduct their Kisan Sansad. That is a ratio of 200 : 1. Imagine so much khakhi! I am sure, now given the devastation of Central Vista, there was more khakhi than trees. Yet, despite police delaying the farmer buses, treating them with suspicion, checking them for bombs and arms, the farmers prevailed. The Kisan Sansad took place and gloriously.

I am sure many will try to theorise how it was possible. Many would put forth many arguments in favour and against but to me there is one observation: every farmer was clear that either they would reach Jantar Mantar or court arrest. That resolve, that fearlessness about being arrested is what saw them through. No one panicked and if another farmer leader is to be believed, until yesterday 10,000 farmers had registered to go to the Kisan Sansad. After its Day 1 success, I am sure the numbers would increase manifold.

Yet, media won’t report it for two reasons. One, media is compromised; two, media was not allowed to come close to the Kisan Sansad being conducted on the road. The barricades were more than 25 meters away. This is the gap.

With this regime, there is always a gap in everything they say and do. Permission not allowed, last minute permission allowed. After permission, farmers subjected to intense scrutiny. Permission for Kisan Sansad, no permission for march. Media not allowed. The list is long …

Poll promises to betrayals, budgets to economic slowdown, Jan Dhan to vaccines, schemes to frauds, foreign policy to international loss of face. There is nothing that this government says that can be taken on face value. They are always slip of tongue. Yesterday, a minister called the farmers hooligans and then retracted. This is the gap which has caused loss of trust between citizens and government. This is the trust deficit.

In any case, what worries any government most is legitimacy of representation. The question that gnaws at them is: are they genuinely people’s representatives or have they manipulated the people to be in power? This is true for all dictatorial regimes at all times. The history of the world is replete with examples from Soviet Union to South Americas to Middle East.
With all developmental indices crashed, with the COVID-19 catastrophe that the government has blatantly denied, with use of spying technology on all opponents, even CBI and judges, I sense the Kisan Sansad has now laid bare the government.

Yesterday, the BJP in Haryana bowed and freed illegally arrested protestors. There are now calls for other protests – to free those wrongfully imprisoned – at Jantar Mantar. Irrespective of whether they will be allowed, the farmers have certainly presented yet another model of resistance because finally democracy can only be reclaimed by democracy.

Picture: Kisan Ekta Morcha. For a moment, yesterday the gap between protesters and media was narrow.  See here … Then it became scores of meters.

 

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