8
Sep

Farmers Protest: Karnal

   Posted by: aman   in Other

Day 286

Toll 594 (adjusted back to martyr’s count published last night)

Karnal

In the last 75 years of being a free democratic country, we have nearly normalised extra-judicial orders, unwritten draconian orders by senior officials and politicians. Entire geographies have been hit by officers and politicians bending the law. My guesstimate is there might not be a district in the country where such disregard for law has not occurred.

Yet, there comes a time when the smallest lapse becomes the proverbial last straw on the camel’s back. That is what happened with Karnal SDM Ayush Sinha who was recorded giving orders to ‘break the heads’ of farmers. We have all seen the video. It is wrong. Retired IAS officers and judges have condemned it, human rights watchers have condemned it. Yet, the state continues to defend Sinha.

Last night, this led to the huge gherao of the Karnal DC Office or some call it mini-Secretariat. The farmers are demanding Sinha’s prosecution and compensation to farmer Kajal who sadly died owing to the police lathi charge on August 28th. Last night SKM leaders have appealed for even larger participation. The numbers are set to increase from estimated over 2 lakhs yesterday to perhaps half a million today.

At stake is a simple matter: who should the police and civil administration obey? Should they obey the rule book, the Constitution on which they have sworn to protect society or the politicians who wield power and pass unofficial orders? Who are they serving – society or representatives of people who have turned rogue?

That is why this protest in Karnal is not about Sinha or the District Commissioner or CM Khattar alone. It is a struggle to establish what is primary in a democracy: the law or rogue appropriation of the executive (one of the pillars of democracy). We know the legislative is compromised, we know the judiciary is often compromised. To set all right, we need to start somewhere and the farmers have evidence to charge the SDM. The crowds are doing exactly that – mounting pressure on administration to follow the rule book.

This protest is to uphold democratic values. If we are interested in democracy, we will support it fully.

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Last night, Jap in the absence of food, water, even Internet to message for resources.

Langar when food arrived.

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