Farmer’s Protest – is it a tool to get what they want or a weapon to blackmail the Government?
Do you have valid reasons to do what you are doing? May be yes! But can you justify what you are doing? Certainly not. But is it going to benefit anyone? Chances are bleak. If you are wondering what I am on about, let me state it clearly, I am talking about the current protests held in Delhi by Punjab farmers. Now, before you start scouring my communal background, I must tell you, I am a Punjabi who has her roots in Punjab. And, I do not agree with how this farmer’s protest has taken place and the shape it is forming every day.
I have already been called a Bhaqt for having this opinion (a term used for those who trust the Modi government blindly). I also want to mention, I am one of the most apolitical persons you will ever come across. They are all there for their own good, regardless of which uniform they wear and which badge they flaunt (yes, I am talking about our politicians). Since we have cleared some basic blurring clouds already, let’s get to the real issue – the farmer’s protest.
The government passed a bill, saying it will double the income of our farmers. It was an announcement that should have made our farmers euphoric, instead, they got agitated and furious. Why? Because perhaps there are some points in the bill that farmers did not find very favourable. I won’t talk about what is there in the bill, you must do your homework if you really sympathize with what our farmers are doing on all the borders touching Delhi.
I, however, have my own issues with this farmer’s protest, in fact with the protest culture in general, and I want to raise and talk about them. Why is it that every time the government passes a bill, we start protesting? It has become a tradition for us Indians to oppose everything this government does, be it demonetization, article 370, or this bill. If you really had such issues with the Modi government, why did you elect him for the second time? Not just this, the BJP is registering victory even in precincts that were always a patent hub for other parties. There must have been something that this government did rightly?
It is very hard to have a blind trust in what our political leaders do but it is certain that the prime minister has a vision and he is doing things categorically to make his vision a reality. And if we put our individual losses and benefits aside, we can clearly see he is trying to put our country at the center of the global map, he is trying to empower us as a nation. If we continue compelling him to keep mending the mistakes that we make, every time a new bill is passed, how will he do everything that he has envisioned for us? Anyway, coming back to the topic, let me now elaborate on why I feel that holding a protest is not really the right way to put our demands forward.
Well, surely there are things in this bill that farmers can’t agree to agree with. But, did they really try to understand the bill thoroughly or they just trusted their political gurus when they said the bill will jeopardize the farmers? If the bill is so cruel and against the farmers, why are farmers from other parts of India not agitated, why aren’t they creating a ruckus, why are they not protesting?
The current farmer’s protest against this bill started on points that if this bill is passed, it will make it harder for some farmers to get a justified price for their crops and that big conglomerates will misuse this bill. The right solution to clear the ambiguity around this bill was to have a meeting with the right people and have an understanding. Did you try to approach the government saying that you want to hold discussions? No, because all we do to make the government pay attention to our doubts is to go on a dharna or hold protests. Or perhaps you did hold meetings but they were inconclusive, still, is holding a protest the only solution we have?
The point is that we bring people in power because, in a country of 130 crore people, we can’t make rules for ourselves. We need a board of experts to look into a matter, to find solutions, and bring in policies that would benefit all on a larger scale. Needless, to say that when such policies are made, they do inadvertently cause inconvenience to some.
The point here is, this bill is not about our government going exclusively against the farmers of Punjab but perhaps is an attempt to remove the middle man. Change is difficult and that is why we resent it but if our farmers had really dived deep, they would have seen that perhaps the bill isn’t all black, there are some pink points too. But they will not see the real thing until they see things themselves rather than trusting a handful of political leaders who always take advantage of their naïve emotions.
What these farmers are doing feels more like an eye for an eye thing. You are not listening to my demands and thus, I will trouble others. If we become an eye for an eye society, survival will become impossible. The protesting farmers from Punjab were advised to go to Delhi by one conniving individual and like sheep, they started marching to Delhi. For the last 12 days, they have made life hell for the people of Delhi and the adjoining areas.
The fact is that the one who is facing trouble because of them jamming the borders is the common man. The common man does not make policies, he doesn’t pass any bills, he doesn’t do anything to cause trouble to any community but every time a protest is held, the common man pays the price, be it Shaheen Bagh or the current protest. Why do they come to strangulate the life of the common man? If you have issues with the government, go block the parliament or the PM’s Office or the best is to go to the place that has been assigned to you for your protest. But why would you do that, right? Doing the right thing will not give your protest the publicity that you are seeking.
How do you expect the people of Delhi to understand your pain when you are causing them pain unnecessarily?
These farmers are sitting in thousands on all Delhi borders and if the pictures shown in the media are to be believed, they are neither maintaining social distancing nor are they wearing masks. What makes matters worse is the fact that the so-called well-wishing celebrities that are going there for their cheap PR stunt are also not wearing masks and are not maintaining distance either. In times when the world is grappling with a pandemic, isn’t it the responsibility of these celebrities to encourage the mob to take every precaution possible? But no, they will do ugly politics, they will hold ugly Twitter spats with colleagues, they will use this opportunity to look good in the eyes of innocent people but they will not educate them against gathering in crowds in times of a pandemic.
Maybe protests are the only way for you to make the government pay attention to your demands but do you really have to be this disturbing? Do you really have to make life hell for those who have nothing to do with your problems and issues? Do you really have to put your own life at stake by not wearing masks and gathering in thousands when we are facing the peak of a pandemic?
The choice is yours. It is your life and you get to decide what you want to do with it but what these protesters are doing is not just putting them but others also at risk during covid-19. They are making life miserable for those who do not pass the bills, they are making their own country look bad in the eyes of the world. In my view, they are basically making a mockery of this situation.
You claim that you are seeking a solution, no, you are threatening the government. You want them to accept your conditions but you are not willing to even listen to them when they hold talks to explain what this bill encapsulates. You come out of the meeting and say we pulled back our chairs and stopped talking to them. We wrote Yes or No on a file and told them to pick one. Is this how you hold a discussion? No! This is how you blackmail people to agree to what you want. You are even stalling another meeting with the policymakers because you want to hold a Bharat Band, really? You are not putting your demands forward; you are blackmailing the government to do what you want and that is what makes this farmer’s protest a vile weapon in the hands of the farmers to get what they want by hook or by crook.