Dr. Pyara Lal Garg
(The writer is former Registrar Baba Farid University and Social Activist)
Mahan Panchayat at Jagraon was so well attended and peaceful with the tens of thousands of participants listening to the future plans of the struggle with enduring patience, that the farmers’ Unions’ leadership really got the enthusiased with the formal physical view of the gathering and after reading the dreams and determination of the population there the actions willingness, preparedness through their bright eyes that they announced on the stage warning the Union of India, not to remain in the fake impression of getting the struggle torpedoed by infiltrating the masses with the stooges of agencies or by trying to distract the attention from the core issues to the fringe points creeping up during struggle.
They made it clear that repeal of Black laws and enactment on ensured purchase at MSP is the ultimate aim they want to achieve. The incidents of 26th January alleged to have been enacted by omission or commission, by, the agencies, backfired and the struggle became fierier and determined after the initial downturn. At all the Borders of Delhi, the participation from neighboring states of UP, Uttrakhand, Haryana, and Punjab has increased tremendously especially after the successful action of three-hour Chakka Janm in 21 states. The unity among the protestors with green yellow and red chunies, turbans, and Flags is obvious and the well-oiled action plan of free toll plazas of Rajsthan on 12th, Candle March in respect of Martyrs of Pulwama on 14th, Celebration of Sir Chhottu Ram Jayanti on 16th and Rail rook of 12 to 4.00 PM on 18th February.
Discontent started when after the promulgation of the three Farm ordinances on June 5, 2020, during the thick of the Corona Pandemic, they realized and got enlightened about the extreme adverse impact on their occupation, produce, livelihood, and the only source of survival the Agricultural Land. The unions at their on level started stray actions, followed by coordinated actions and ultimately a joint front too.
Hallmark of the struggle has been, the preparation, well-planned impact awareness of laws, coining of new slogans, songs, processions, meticulous planning by village level rallies, etc. For the first time, the corporate capitalist has become the real culprit and the Governments the agency helping the corporate in minds of the common man. As such the protesters converged on Toll Plazas, Reliance Petrol Pumps, Silos and Power plants of Corporate. The struggle involved women, youth, children, three generations of farmers, farm labor and the commission agents, (28000 arhtias receive Rs. 2000 crore as 2.5% commission) and grain merchants, etc. Punjab Government earns 3500-3600 crore annually as mandi fees and ‘rural development’ cess — up to 6% on paddy and wheat, 4% on basmati, and 2% on cotton and maize through grain merchants.
After struggling for three months in Punjab the protesters started a sit-in at Delhi from 26th of November following a call ‘Dilli Challo’.
In Delhi emerged a strange combination of different thoughts, ideas, and practices. Haryana came forward in a big way. UP and Uttrakhand too ventured into the struggle though on a small scale and got Pan Indian to look after successful Bandh on 8th of December.
Central Government, majority Party BJP it’s ideological back the RSS, unleashed propaganda against the protestors, that farm law are to benefit farmers , that only a few farm organizations of Punjab are protesting, they are separatists, extremists, ultra-leftists, khalstanies etc, but such tactics miserably failed. They failed to incite violence by sending antisocial elements in the struggle at Delhi. Ultimately the Government had to admit the glaring defects and some serious wrong having been committed in the farm laws. The government was getting a flake at the international level, even Apex Court noted the wide spread peaceful protest and refused to remove them, UNO stated on human rights. Cornered on all sides, Government agencies are alleged to have become active and partially succeeded in misleading/ misdirect a part of the tractor marc, to Red Fort on 26th January and became instrumental in the hoisting of Sikh religious symbol bearing flag on Red Fort by omission or by the commission. Major Channels already siding with the Government, broadcasted fake bulletins of sacrilege of the National Flag the tricolor.
Struggle got a severe set back momentarily, only to start regaining its previous tone and tenor after a short while, to emerge into a full blown sea of farmers from Khap Panchayats of Haryana, UttraKhand and westeren UP. After Rakesh Tikait at Gazipur Border was compelled by the swarms of Rapid Action Farce, to announce that he shall not leave his companions alone, rather shall prefer to commit suicide and burst into tears, that touched the cord of the heart and new determination zeal and self-motivation has been infused for a march onwards to the goal.