16
Oct

Farmers Protest: Dussehra

   Posted by: aman   in Other

Day 324

Toll 638

Dussehra

Yesterday it rained like crazy in Bangalore. That poured water on my plans to heed Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s call to burn effigies where Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghanada cast as the PM, HM, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh CMs, Ambani, Adani and others.

Now I have mixed feelings about Ravan. I do not see him completely evil. I actually like Kumbhakarna. I do not know Meghanada much. So, I was wondering about being able to burn the effigies in their names but nature – or global warming – solved the matter.

Instead Randeep Maddoke and Deepu came home with Deepu’s daughter Razeena. We had an intense evening. Randeep you all know from his excellent work as a photographer and film-maker of the farmers protests, mostly Tikri border. Deepu has long experience as a cinematographer and political activist. He was at the protest site for long, with Randeep. A few years back, I had met Deepu, though he does not remember because he was overwhelmed, when he screened his quickly shot and edited, excellent documentary on Gauri Lankesh very soon after she was killed.

Both Randeep and Deepu were sharing their experiences. Deepu said something very pertinent: ‘When will the farmers protest turn into a social movement all over India? Until that happens, we cannot really fight the right wing forces. Of course, the protests need support. But even more than that, they need to translate into multiple, regional movements and join hands together. When will the country rise?’

Pictures of Dussehra effigy burnings last night are coming in. As I observed at Bharat Bandh, outrage over Lakhimpur murders, and now through these names of towns were effigies were burnt, the protests have reached second and third tier cities. But when it comes to bigger cities, the metros, they still have a distance to travel.

Notice the names: Etawah, Puri, Guna, Gunupur, Chennai, Bulandshahr, Allahabad, Kaushambi, Rewari, Patna, Sitamadhi, Supaul, Kaimur, Jhunjhunu, Gwalior, Muzaffarpur, Cuttack, Durgapur, Jashipur, Mayurbhanj, Shahjahanpur, Ambala and others.

Many many thanks for the response to my previous message. But do pause, think, do the protests need only support or is what Deepu saying correct? If Deepu is correct, perhaps we also need to move out of our need to only consume news – no doubt, very important – and do something more?

After all, we cannot just be a spectator nation. Wish you a good festival season. Do also consider how many of our festivals are linked to harvest, to food, to farmers.

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