Farmers Protest: Lines

   Posted by: aman   in Other, Punjab

Day 340

Toll 655


When there is a line – which either someone has drawn or we ourselves have drawn – we engage with the line. We either confirm to the line, let it regulate us, or we push the line, try to break the line. But the real challenge begins when there is no line. For a few days now, with the police removing the barricades at the protest sites, the line that in many ways regulated the farmers protest has all but vanished. This brings the protest into a new phase.

On November 9th, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha is going to hold a meeting to assess how to deal with the new status quo. Meanwhile, there are other lines, life lines, that the government is bent on breaking. These are lines of support from the international diaspora. Other nation states, even if they disagree, have to comply with international protocols. All this under the guise that the protests are anti-India.

The state has now started moving against the protests by targeting the supporters from the Diaspora. Recently, the government has started cancelling NRI supporters’ Overseas Indian Citizen (OIC) cards and long-term visas. In the last few days, two prominent NRIs were sent back from Delhi airport. There are possibilities of students who want to migrate for studies – a preferred way because of the nearly absolute lack of opportunities in Panjab – being blocked from leaving.

For Panjab, this method by the government is a reminder of the infamous Black Lists the government prepared after Operation Blue Star. Many NRIs were put on these Black Lists and were barred from coming to India. It took decades to get names removed from the Black Lists. Now the government has started another Black List.

The question really is: what is India? Is it the land, the people, or the government? The infinitely powerful state assumes it is the government. That is its mistake.

Actually, Diaspora support to the protests has come down since the events of January 26th. No doubt whatever support comes is critical but the fact is most of the protest is being sustained locally, through the resolve and resourcefulness of the protesters and support lines from their villages. How will the government snap those lines?

Once again, the government shows that it only knows high-handedness, not humility. History is witness: powerful, arrogant states, who believe too much in their own powers, do fall.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 1st, 2021 at 1:32 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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