Farmers Protest: Gujarat Model

   Posted by: aman   in Other

March 27, 2021

Day 122

Toll 326


Gujarat Model

Right from around 2011, the right-wing has pushed the Gujarat model of development. By the time the fact-seeking journalists could really assess the claim, it was too late. The BJP, having discredited the government of the day UPA 2, especially the Congress, was well on its way to power. I remember many stories in those days questioning the Gujarat model but they did not find takers. The mood of the nation had changed.

As the farmers protests started, news came that farmer leaders in Gujarat were under house arrest, the cadre was not being allowed to assemble. I remember a Samyukt Kisan Morcha press conference late December when finally some Gujarat leaders could participate. They had disguised themselves, escaped house arrest and sneaked into Delhi. At one point only 300 out of planned 3000 farmers from Gujarat could reach Shajahanpur.

Yet, the state government’s oppression continued. On March 12, like every year, on the 91st anniversary of Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha in 1930, the farmers wanted to take out a rally from Ahmedabad to Dandi. When the Seva Dal and other organisations began a rally with 80 tractors, the police detained the leaders and did not allow the tractors to proceed beyond two kilometres. On March 20th, over 100 farmer leaders representing organisations across Gujarat announced the formation of the Kisan Sangharsh Manch or KASAM, a state-wide platform that aims to launch decentralised district- and block-level protest movements against the new laws.

Since, urban India and rest of India remains quite oblivious to what has been going on in Gujarat, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha decided to highlight the police curbs. Yesterday, with all due process in place, Yudhveer Singh, general secretary, BKU Tikait, and other farmer leaders called for a press conference in Ahmedabad. As if on cue, the police pounced on them and arrested them. Leaders Gajendra Singh, Ranjit Singh, J.K. Patel, and others are now in jail. What was their crime? A press conference when the Constitution gives us freedom of speech? But notice, while the leaders are arrested, it is the police that fell in the trap they had laid. That is the nature of power, it can’t resist demonstration.

Similarly, yesterday when farmer leaders in Karnataka were protesting at Town Hall, they were arrested. Kodihalli Chandrasekhar, Kavita Kuruganti, Bayyareddy, trade union leaders and others were picked up by police in Bangalore. Karnataka police also arrested many protesters in Gulbarga. This when the CM of Karnataka, BS Yediyurappa, has built his whole career projecting himself as a farmer leader, with farmer interests close to his heart.

Yet, once again the lapdog media has failed us. There has been hardly any coverage in mainstream media. However, it is clear, the hypocrisy of the government is getting exposed day by day. Their lies and their draconian policies are being challenged. After those Enforcement Directorate cases, after Income Tax notices, after UAPA threatened, after arrests post January 26th – most arrested now out on bail, the message that goes out is the government is desperate, its best intimidation tactics are no longer working. It is now a matter of time.

Gandhi’s Dandi March ended on April 6 – a day the Gujarat farmers wanted to mark. Now, if these leaders are not released, SKM has stated, their leaders will reach Gujarat to mark the day.

How many will the government arrest?

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