It was September 2020 when the Central government passed the Farm bills in the monsoon session of the Parliament. Farmers’ agitation soon began after the three Farm Bills were given assent by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind. The opposition had earlier urged the President to return the bills to the Parliament claiming that the bills were anti farmers and were meant to destroy the APMCs in India. Soon the protest reached the streets.
The three bills that were passed are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmer’s (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
These bills have several provisions for the Farming agreement, minimum and maximum period of the farming agreement, pricing of farm produce, Trade of farmers’ produce, electronic trading, abolition of market fees, etc. These reforms are primarily meant to empower millions of farmers in India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his radio address to the nation Mann Ki Baat reiterated that these farm bills are a watershed moment in the history of Indian Agriculture. Prime Minister Modi stated, “The new agricultural laws have been brought in for benefit of the farmers. We will see and experience the benefits of these new laws in the coming days.” He further added that the old system was not replaced rather new options were added under the Farm Laws 2020 for the farmers.
But the opposition parties in India and the left-liberal ecosystem started spreading fear-mongering and misinformation amongst the farmers. The farmers’ agitation started in the month of November when India and the entire world were still struggling with the pandemic. The opposition said that these laws will drive the agricultural business towards the private market, and as a result, the big corporate houses will overtake markets, thereby procuring farm produce at incidental rates. They even demanded a comprehensive Act on MSP pan India and for all crops.
The Central Government even proposed that under the contract farming law, farmers will have the alternative to approach the court and their lands will be safe as no loan will be given on farmers’ lands and their buildings by mortgaging it.
Amidst all the agitation, opposition to the bills, and protests taking place on the streets in Delhi by the farmers especially from Punjab and Haryana, the government decided to hold talks with the farmers’ union. Bhartiya Kisan Union leader and the poster boy of the Farmers’ protest Rakesh Tikait stated that “They (Central Government) want amendment in them (Farm Laws 2020) but we want these laws to be repealed. We don’t want changes. We will end our protest only when these laws are withdrawn. Like the government brought the three bills, they should also bring a bill on the MSP.”
By December, as the farmers’ protest entered day 34 of the protest, the farmers’ union accepted the centre’s proposal to hold the sixth round of talks. After that many more talks were held between the centre and the farmers’ union but nothing came out conclusive.
Yogendra Yadav stated that on 26th January 2021, on Republic Day, the farmers will carry out a Tractor March in the national capital. Groups of protesting farmers camping at Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur border took out a massive tractor rally against the Farm Laws 2020 on the occasion of 72nd Republic Day and what followed will be recorded as a black day in the history of independent India. As the protestors deviated from the route, violence erupted and some protestors broke police barricades, police officers were beaten by these people, government vehicles were damaged and they forced their way into the city. Many of these so-called protestors reached the Red Fort and hoisted the Nishan Sahib Flag at the Red fort. It was seen from the start of the protest there was a huge amount of Khalastani elements in the protests. There was the involvement of celebrities like Deep Sidhu who was arrested after the 26th January violence in the national capital for his involvement in instigating the violence and mobilizing the mob. It is important to note Deep Sidhu is linked with Khalastani terrorists in the United Kingdom and Canada. The farmers’ union and Rakesh Tikait disassociated themselves from this violence and claimed that certain foreign elements had infiltrated their protests and they had no knowledge about it is difficult to digest. There was a violent clash between protesting so-called farmers and policemen on 16th May over Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. The Hisar IGP’s residence was gheraoed by the farmers over lathi-charge by policemen and FIR’s filed against the farmers.
According to a detailed report published in Swarajyamag, “the origins of the second wave lie in the heart of the so-called farmers’ agitation, from early January 2021 onwards, in Chandigarh, where non-resident Indians arrived in droves from the United Kingdom, in selected districts of the Punjab and Haryana, and even in Delhi, once the carnage of the Republic Day riots had been effected.” 3232-page charge sheet filed by Delhi police claims that farmers had aimed to make Red Fort a ‘new protesting site’ according to reports.
The government and the courts should have taken cognizance of the matter and made sure that the protestors leave their sites to save India from a possible third wave and prevent further danger to the lives of the people.
Amidst all this chaos, news broke that a 25-year-old woman had come to the Tikri border protest site from West Bengal to join the farmers’ protest. On April 26, she was admitted to a hospital in the Jhajjar district after showing Covid symptoms. She later died on April 30th. Her father filed a case of rape against two men. Her father named 6 people in the FIR who are identified as Anil Malik, Anup Singh Chanaut, Ankur Sangwan, Kovita Arya, Jagdish Brar, and Yogita Suhag, who went to West Bengal on behalf of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha. As per some reports, one of the accused Anup Singh was an active member of the Aam Admi Party. Ironically, the same party has been supporting the farmers’ protest with all their might.
The Sankyukta Kisan Morcha claimed that they took action as soon as they came to know about the case. Yogendra Yadav even admitted that he knew about the sexual harassment faced by the woman who made these revelations in a press conference. More allegations of sexual assault against activists associated with the protests have clouded the protests further.
The NHRC has issued notice to Delhi, Haryana and UP government over pandemic protocols being flouted by protesting farmers.
On 26th May thousands of farmers gathered at Delhi Border to mark the so-called Black Day. One thing is clear there were protesting farmers infected with the Chinese Virus which is one of the key reasons for the second wave in India since the farmers had gathered outside the national capital from various states but largely from Haryana and Punjab. And these so-called protesters are a ticking time bomb waiting to explode as the third wave with protesters and their leaders openly flouting the pandemic protocols and holding the nation to ransom. The government and the courts of this country need to take a hard stand against this synthetic protest and save the country from causing more deaths due to pandemics. The protesters must be cleared off the roads. One thing is definite there is an involvement of foreign powers to destabilize India from within to stop its fast progress. Losing over three lakhs of our fellow citizens is unacceptable and those not complying with the pandemic protocols must be dealt with an iron fist.
DISCLAIMER: This article reflects author’s view point. Goa Chronicle may or may not subscribe to views of the author