Farmers Protest: Bharat Bandh

   Posted by: aman   in Other

Day 306

Toll 613

Bharat Bandh

In the last 10 months (Delhi), 12 months (Panjab), 15 months (since activities started) of the farmers protest and the nation, yesterday was phenomenal simply because for the very first time we saw and heard the whole country respond. The Bandh was a response to the farmers’ stance, a reverberation of their energy, an acknowledgement by lakhs of ordinary people, if not crores, thousands of organizations, groups and unions, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of sites of resistance who came up in solidarity to shut down India for 10 hours.

Given how under this regime, mainstream media has almost drowned ground realities, social media is swayed by bots, the farmers protest on ground has kept its resolve, persisted to resist, by staying focussed on their goals and creating an eco-system to sustain them. I see all of this in keeping with the nature of the farmer. The farmer sows seeds and it takes a long time for crop to grow. Meanwhile there are weather hazards, pest attacks, parasites out to wreck the crop. Yet, finally the crop grows and sustains humanity.

It is very clear that under the draconian regime we live in, the push to sell-out the nation, to jeopardize our lives and work, this resistance is the only way we can sustain ourselves. At the end of this struggle – if it ever ends because it is the nature of power to perpetrate atrocities – we might be eroded and wounded, but we might have the taste of freedom. This deepened political consciousness is, I think, the greatest harvest of the farmers protest.

Yesterday’s protest was absolutely peaceful. There were zero incidents of: violence, arson, loss of public property, loss of private property, vandalism, injury, accidents. Now that should tell us who creates violence in the country and how the anndatas feed us, sustain us, care for us. This should end the allegations of farmers ever intending to harm the society.

The huge surge of solidarity from the country was not just about Farm Laws. Of course, repeal of laws and legalisation of MSP, electricity and pollution Bills are the focus of the protest, but what I loved is that many sections of society are in crises and each of them came out with their own charter: labour codes, sale of PSUs, Dalit atrocities, communal violence, and so on. The core call was ‘We Want Justice’.

This to me is how the farmers protest has created the platform for public discontent to be aired, for people of the nation to stand up for their rights. Personally, this is what I have been waiting for in the last many months. In a democracy, this space is normally with the Opposition but sadly in India today, the Opposition is also waned. Of course, all Opposition parties supported the Bandh. However, ideally, they should have created this platform.

Never mind, country folks, now we need not look at political parties for deliverance. We have taken charge and let us grow in strength. More power to us!

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