Farmers Protest: Us

   Posted by: aman   in Other

Day 314

Toll 628


Though living in current India is a constant reminder, it is when the farmers protest began that the year 1984 started haunting me again. My mind would project horror scenarios. I would be scared to fall asleep lest I dream worse happenings. I wonder if that happens to you. I wonder if that has now – after Lakhimpur Khedi killings – started happening to you. At the core of all those nightmares is the brazen, unlawful, brutality of the state, and its apathy to acknowledge and address the situation on the ground.

It has been three days since MoS Home Ajay Mishra Teni’s son mowed down and crushed farmers. Allegedly he shot and killed one farmer. Yet, we continue to live as if life is normal. While victim families, farmers, Samyukt Kisan Morcha and some political parties are raising the demand to sack the minister, arrest him, his son and accomplices, there is overall a deafening silence by the society.

Remember the lynchings? Akhlaq, Pehlu Khan, others? Now the mode of violence has shifted to vehicles but the impetus remains the same – impunity. ‘Jaante nahin mera Baap kaun hai?’; ‘Kya kar loge Bhench**?’ That arrogance is the culmination of an unlawful state. We have enabled it.

Yet, what do we do hiding behind walls of assumed security? We become spectators to a blood sport. Until, one day, the violence comes home and the gladiators finish us off. We comment on SKM, we talk about its issues, now newspapers are pitting its leaders against each other. Yet, we do not realise, these leaders are really common people. They have been thrust into a nearly 11 month long protest and that takes a toll on the protesters, on them and on us. Patience is wearing thin.

Of course, there are differences between them. Of course, some of us have differences with them. Yet, this is the group, unwittingly leading hundreds of thousands of farmers, who stand as the last bulwark against absolute authoritarianism and erosion of all democratic values. If this wall falls, we can forever say bye bye to this nation.

The farmers protest is now poised between what direction SKM can give and farmers will follow versus when will the nation rise, lend its tangible solidarity to show the regime its place. The nation will have to rise with all its issues and they do not have to be agrarian. The Hindutva regime has assaulted us all – there are labour codes, there are women, there are caste fault lines, there are minorities, there are PSU employees, there are traders, and so on. In fact, I do not see any caste or class group left unaffected in a bad way by the regime.

As time passes, this jostling between farmers and the nation becomes more acute. I just hope the nation rises before things get out of hand. If they do, every single one of us will be responsible.

Two videos: One of a BJP supporter who was in the Thar which mowed down people. He says Bhaiya – Ashish Mishra (Monu) was driving. Another of slain journalist Raman’s brother, telling how media is manipulating testimonies on the ground. Click here …

Note: Last three days, Internet has been switched off in Lakhimpur area. Once the jam is lifted, much more direct evidence will tumble out. Including, I sadly hope, of Gurvinder’s, one the slain farmers, bullet wound and this post-mortem rigmarole become clinching evidence, not the primary evidence. But there is no ban on the people’s anger in the region. That they remain non-violent is a hall mark of their courage and wisdom.

I just hope it is not too late by then.

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