Farmers Protest: Emperor’s New Clothes

   Posted by: aman   in Other, Punjab

March 28, 2021

Day 123

Toll 330


Emperor’s New Clothes

No one can deny that we are tired and angry. One-hundred-twenty-three days of protest in extreme winter, sudden hail and rains, and now blistering summer, is no joke. Three-hundred-thirty people are already dead, many more are injured, many have fallen ill. Yet, there has been no word from the government. No effort to resolve the issue and send people home honourably.

We are angry.

The protests sit on a tinderbox of public discontent. For the last four months, farmers have, to the best extent possible, been non-violent. That is why we need to be careful, very careful in how we protest. Apart from the fact that violence derails us, violence is exactly what the government wants from us. Violence can become the government’s excuse to use repression. Violence could lead to escalation. We want resolution, not escalation.

What happened yesterday with Abohar BJP MLA Arun Narang in Malout – pushing, shoving and tearing of clothes in public – is to me a heat of the moment incident. From reports and videos it seems the intent was to throw black ink, but police was taking Narang in and out of a shop, anger built up, the shoving and stripping took place. Narang did not suffer any major injuries. He was discharged from hospital soon after.

Yet, the incident fails our test. No doubt, when hundreds or thousands of people protest there is no saying when the outburst can turn even slightly violent. That is why we need to be careful. There is much anger on the ground, simmering now for many months. If we do not take a stand against such outburst there is no saying who and where can do something slightly more drastic and that would risk not the protests – for they will go on nevertheless – but the goodwill the protests are generating world-wide.

In this battle of people vs powers, this goodwill is our greatest achievement. That is why look at was stripping someone means. Let us ask ourselves if physically stripping someone the best way to advanced our cause?

Yet, we must also notice that stripping someone, while disrespectful, also means uncovering, revealing their truth. Remember the Emperor’s New Clothes? Since day one of the protests the Emperors’ lies are being shattered, their dark truths are being exposed. I feel, we really do not do need to strip people literally, physically.

We walk a razor’s edge, let us walk it with dignity.

At the same time, the right-wing needs to realise that the method of mob violence, of group attacks, of noise and disturbance that they have used in the past have now come to haunt them. They turned democracy into mob rule, now they need to learn that mobs can also expose them.

It is Karma.

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