7
Dec

Farmers Protest: Blood

   Posted by: aman   in Other

Day 377

Toll 713

Toll after Modi announcement 24

Blood

One of the most blatant misuse of a law took place in Nagaland where 15 people were gunned down by armed forces. The Home Minister spoke in Parliament, expressed some regret, but there is no talk of repealing the draconian, anti-people Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in spite of Nagaland and Meghalaya CMs asking for it for years.

In the same way, one of the most apathetic stances by the government is unfolding on Delhi’s borders right now. Whatever we might be – cynical, hopeless, tired, bored – we cannot unsee the way the government is treating farmers.

It has been 18 days since the government agreed that Farm Laws were wrong, the PM announced repeal of laws. That simply means the law and order cases – rioting, disruption, stopping public officials from carrying out their responsibilities – are all false because farmers were conveying to the government the laws are wrong. No farmer indulged in violence, in damage to life or property. Why can’t the government then quash the cases? Why can’t Centre instruct states to quash the cases?

A few days back the government indicated it is willing to quash cases – 48,000 in Haryana, hundreds in Delhi, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Karnataka. Government asked Samyukt Kisan Morcha to give representatives it could talk with. SKM gave representatives. It has been 48 hours since SKM formed the committee but there has been no show by the government. No indication of talks.

These cases are important because farmers know in their many struggles against government, while both parties come to agreements on issues, the cases keep dragging farmers in courts for years. These cases wear the farmers out, send a message that it is tiresome to take on governments.

It is the same with other demands on Electricity Bill, recognition of martyrs, space for memorial, resignation of minister of state, justice for Lakhimpur Kheri and guaranteed Minimum Support Price. Repeatedly the farmers have stated solve this issues and they will go home. Yet, the government does not budge.

The government does not budge because it wants the farmers to tire out and leave. Also because, now slowly, with Captain joining hands with BJP, the political talk in Panjab is changing. Congress, Akalis, AAP are anyway making statements, stirring up waters. Since the government’s loss of face on the laws, now the changing atmosphere suits the government’s perception game: farmers’ victory has started seeming remote.

You see, the farmers are tired but they are resolute. They have shown they can win. They will win this round too. While the government has proven to be apathetic, I wonder how long we the middle-class will just sit around as spectators? How long will mainstream media continue supporting the apathetic government?

The blood of the farmers slain in the protests is not only on the hands of the government but our hands too.

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