Posts Tagged ‘Hindutva’

13
Dec

Farmer Protests: Who is Asking the Question?

   Posted by: aman    in Punjab

Day 18, Facebook, December 13, 2020

It is fairly easy to count the days of the Farmer Protests. They started on November 26th, Constitution Day – the day the BJP celebrated a few years back.

Over the last few weeks, the BJP propaganda machinery through the IT Cell, sought to label the protests in three major ways – none of the labels stuck.

Initially, the Propaganda called the protests Khalistan oriented. The simple presence of Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh farmers and the fact that the protests are mounted by Left leaning Unions, settled that question.

Then, the Propaganda called it a rich farmers protest backed by political parties. The fact that only 4 per cent farmers actually own more than 25 acres of land in India, put to rest that allegation.

Latest, the Propaganda called the protests Left-sponsored, Naxalite hand behind the protest. That too failed.

Before hurling such allegations, I would urge the Propaganda machinery to look at the views of Jaya Prakash Narayan, JP, the architect of the anti-Emergency protests because of which the Hindutva forces found credibility in the national discourse. JP’s own journey was from Marxism to socialism to Sarvodaya (universal upliftment) to the call for Sampoorna Kranti (total revolution). JP had understood that the method of the Naxalites is problematic but their demands were legitimate. The need is to not ‘other’ them but extend democracy to include them in a dialogue and address their demands.

This allegation came because on Human Rights Day, BKU (Ugrahan) cadre lifted the pictures of those activists, intellectuals, social workers detained by the government for years and some for months now, without trial or bail. Notice, this demand has been part of BKU (Ugrahan) – the largest farmer Union in Panjab – but was also precipitated by the Home Minister not inviting Joginder Singh Ugrahan for talks the night before the scheduled 6th round (later cancelled). It was precipitated by the government trying to side-line Ugrahan, trying to divide the Unions.

While the demand to release political prisoners is legitimate and I strongly support it, bringing that up at this time, is a matter of strategy. There is also the question of why only these activists and not the ones who too are illegally arrested under the draconian UAPA in Panjab, about 266 prisoners, and other prisoners from the militancy era in Panjab. Again, this demand is a matter beyond symbolism and the Unions must mutually resolve and decide on including in their charter. Though, this demand has the potential to skew the protests from one of ‘political economy’ to ‘identity and politics’. I believe, the unions know best.

IMHO, our job as those who express solidarity to the protests is to ask a simple question to all such allegations: Who is asking about the legitimacy of the protest? Our diverse nation now has three skins and it is high-time we peel them.

- Is it Hindu Rashtra? For Hindu Rashtra has already sneakily upturned the notion of our nation from being secular to majoritarian by violating the sanctity of the Constitution.

- Is it Bharat? For Bharat is out there laying siege on Delhi. Bharat is the rural, agrarian India that is protesting the draconian Farm Laws. Primarily because according to the Constitution, Agriculture is a State subject and the Centre has no right to pass the laws.

- Is it India? For India is the rootless, urban, so-called liberal English-speaking India that lives in cyber-space and blows like a leaf, this way or that, depending upon the wind.

At this point the numbers at the farmer protests is rising – last night I saw videos of thousands of farmers moving from Rajasthan to Delhi with their cattle – simply because all these protesters are seeking to keep alive the spirit of the Constitution.
We must all ensure the spirit prevails.

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Friends, Indira Basu from The Quint got in touch yesterday over the Swami Agnivesh post. I told her about the temporary Facebook ban on perhaps my post being reported as ‘hate speech’. Imagine – this as hate speech!

They carried a more context driven story last evening. The story calls out the right-wing’s lack of sense of ancestry and roots. They do not know where they originate from and seem to me like a serpent devouring its own tail.

Please read here …

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