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WHY THE PEASANT UPRISING IS HISTORICALLY UNPRECEDENTED?
CLARITY ABOUT THE DEMANDS
I have been engaged in political and social activism since my teenage years; I have never seen such an uprising of people. The extent of the mass of people who are making this movement have a clarity of their demands, conviction to achieve those, and firm understanding of the politics that might deter the agitation. Since June, when I started covering this agitation, I realized that in every subsequent phase, people got more politically conscious. By the time it reached the borders of Delhi, it became a movement of mass political awakening.
During the past four days, I have talked to hundreds of participating farmers at the Delhi border. Protesters are from all age groups, but youngsters are particularly aware of the dirty politics that can be spun around them. In parallel, the struggling farmers have displayed staggering conviction in the face of the political challenges that they have brought to the foray with their own conscious minds.
THEY ARE A VIGILANT LOT
They are the ones who are more vigilant, and it is their awareness of the country’s rotting leadership that has shaped the union leaders’ decisions since the inception of the movement. Nothing can steer the movement away from the present crisis since it is the farmer who denies the divisive narratives of Haryana-Punjab state polities, and the revival of Khalistani forces. It is the sold media, which works on the behalf of the central Government, who is completely and fully responsible for such deplorable narratives.
In addition, it is the farmer who has brought the spotlight back on the inhuman treatment given to non-saffron Indian citizenry by the Modi-Shah regime. This struggle is beyond the reach of any one political thought, ideology, individual, color or organization. Rather, it’s the mix of all right, left and center. Most importantly, in its present form, it is the collective anguish of the people against the Modi-Shah-Corporate regime and its policies.
FARM BODIES HAVE BUILD A GROUND LEVEL STRUGGLE
What is noteworthy is the role played by the left peasant organizations in building up this ground level struggle, and evolving it into a movement that India needed desperately to protect itself from the capitalist serving policies of the Modi Government.
Participation of Punjabi singers and artists also fueled the youth that roamed directionless in the pre-movement Punjab. Their efforts to bring not only the youth in Punjab but to also galvanize the movement through the youth is a great victory for Punjabi culture itself.
Punjab’s relation with farming and land goes back to Guru Nanak Dev Ji. It’s historic engagement with power corridors in Delhi while toiling on the field is a crucial factor in inspiring and charging up this exemplary struggle. By consistent and conscious effort, this movement has sidelined any mainstream political party of Punjab, Haryana and India.
FARMERS SETTING AGENDA FOR POL PARTIES OF PUNJAB
Farmers are leading in setting the agenda for political parties of Punjab. In contrast, the parties are only responding to their actions and moves while sitting in the public gallery. Political leaders are being compelled by the people to respond to it in an affirmative way in order to safeguard their political space. Agitating farmers are even influencing decisions of their union leaders who are negotiating with the centre on their behalf.
In all good faith as a Punjabi, it’s my wishful thinking that the movement will bear fruit. This struggle has already achieved a lot in terms of setting up the agenda of people centric politics in the country and in pushing back repressive state apparatus.
All this will have far reaching consequences for the common people, their political consciousness, spirit and desire of struggle for their rights. On one hand it has questioned the credibility of the entire political class, on the other hand it has empowered people by showing them the art of asserting their political right to protest.
Baba Nanak Mehar Kare !