17
Apr

Farmers Protest: Storm at Protest Sites

   Posted by: aman   in Other, Punjab

Day 143

Toll 376

#FarmersProtest

Storm at Protests

Last evening, around 7 pm, I called a friend in Delhi. He said a storm has just ended – dust, rain, strong winds. For a moment, I forgot the farmers and asked him if he was fine. He said yes, he is home. Safe.

As soon as the call ended and I looked at the computer, the effect of the storm on the protest sites was clear. Many tents had been uprooted, water had entered habitations, farmers’ meagre belongings were soaked in water.

Add to this the harvest period in north India. Once again the shortage of gunny sacks. The confusion that the government’s insistence on Direct Bank Transfer is creating, arthiyas are forced to seek guarantees for payments against collection of grains. Seems in India, the farmers are perpetually in the eye of storms.

Yet, there is quite a literal storm building – rumours of a government’s proposed Operation Clean to end the protests forcefully citing the rising COVID-19 numbers in the country. There is news that the Centre is entrusting the Operation to the Haryana government. The Samyukt Kisan Morcha has yesterday said that these are rumours and farmers must not panic. This could be psychops – psychological tactics.

The fact is, no one knows. We now know we cannot put anything past this government. Actually, we can never put anything past any government. In 1984, no one expected the Army to invade the Darbar Sahib premises. Yet, it did. Operation Blue Star took place. Heavens forbid an armed action takes place this time – it would be severely counter-productive.

The question is: does the government care? Has the government cared about how the pandemic has hit India this time? Over the last year, the government had enough time to ramp up medical infrastructure, it did not. Now we are running short of vaccines, testing kits, PPEs, hospital beds, crematoriums. The government remains busy trying to win Bengal elections.

The greatest storm is in the heart of the citizens of this nation. What do we do? We can’t keep blaming nature alone for storms and rains and scorching heat and pandemics. There has to be accountability by those we elect to govern us. This accountability seems to have blown in storms in the last seven years. There is not even a squeak from media asking any legitimate questions to the government and people are outraging on social media. This is collapse of a system. This is breakdown of that single sense that keeps selves, communities, nations going – trust in the system. The sense that gives us the feeling of being safe.

Meanwhile, post-harvest, thousands of farmers are arriving soon on Delhi’s borders. Armed eviction, if it happens, will cost the government a lot. But the blood, hope it does not spill, will be on all our hands.

 

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 17th, 2021 at 8:36 am 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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