Almost two months have passed by and the solidarity with the farmers has only increased. All of it had begun long before the central government cared to pay heed to the matter. On 26 November last year, the nation got to see a glimpse of what had been happening and is now taking place. Today, ironically on Republic Day, the treatment bring meted out to farmers is appalling with tear gas being used on protesting farmers.
Protests in Punjab strengthened when the government abruptly passed the farm ordinances in the Parliament. Over 2 months of continuous peaceful protests in Punjab and Haryana took place, yet, the Centre paid no attention to the matter. This added to the anger of farmers.
Constitution Day this year looked quite hypocritical. While we were being reminded about the adaption of our constitution and the rights it provides us, Haryana and Punjab borders depicted a tremendously different scenario.
Protesting peacefully is a right provided to us by our constitution. But farmers marching towards Delhi faced police atrocities. And yet they proceeded as they dismantled the obstacles being added on their way. Fighting tear gas shells, water cannons and cemented barricades, they made their way to the borders of Delhi.
Protesters are continuing to bear the biting cold while many of us continue to ignore it all. We sleep comfortably under our roofs, ignoring all the prestige we have and still take the food on our plates for granted.
We are unseeing the fact that lakhs are sleeping under the sky as the chilled wind hugs them. Not all of them are youngsters demanding their rights. There are elders worried about losing all they made their whole lives. There is the youth protesting for what it deserves and what it sees being taken away.
The world is watching and, yet, individuals with no proper knowledge on the matter continue to question the little comfort people at the Delhi borders have. At the present day, we’ve become the people of a nation where our rulers are scared of unity. The same unity, while diversity prevailed, our nation once was proud of. But sadly all of that no longer exists. It takes a second for a few sitting in their blankets to call this revolution a fest.
Well, they need to be reminded that it could appear to be a fest to them, but it is no celebration. It is a wake-up call to you, sending out reminders that democracy is dying; the democracy under which the government is supposed to be of the people, for the people and by the people. The same definition we learnt as students is a lie today.
Yet, there are individuals, and to highlight, “literate” individuals trapped in a fairy-lights lit Ferris wheel of lies. If you assume it is about the farmers’ ego, your assumptions are wrong because it is about their lives.
All of this caught the media’s attention and everybody else, but it took no time for some to create false allegations against the agitating farmers. Creating an atmosphere of emotional vulnerability was no great of a task for those who held the intentions of turning the protest into a violent site.
And once again we saw pro-government individuals, even at superior levels, labelling the protestors with their favourite labels. To name a few would be anti-nationals, terrorists, mislead, the opposition-led. Since the protest was primarily led by Punjab, how could some stereotyped minds not bring up the term Khalistani, not giving a thought to the fact that these “anti-nationals” and “terrorists” have been so kind as to feed a whole nation.
Despite all of this continuing on social media, farmers protesting from Punjab and Haryana and various other states have dealt with this while keeping “chardi kala” intact. It takes a balance of anger and calm to keep a protest peaceful, growing into a revolution, no matter how direct or indirect the attacks are.
People at the borders of the capital have got their backs. It is through the details of the efforts each one of them puts in. From serving langar, opening schools at the protest sites for children from slum areas to introducing their own newsletter Trolley Times, they’ve done it all to amplify their voices.
But still, our government acts as if we live in a prosperous dreamland. Not only are they amplifying their voices for their benefit, but also yours, which many have not observed yet.
While we scroll through Instagram and Twitter, seeing trends and exchange radical ideas, why do many choose to be silent? Why do we decide to keep our support unforthcoming when we know it is not about being political or apolitical. Today, it is about the people who feed the world’s second-largest population, no matter how adverse the situation is. Present at the protest sites or not, the articles, photographs and videos through this protest have proved how the youth has started to get back to history to learn the lessons they likely missed.
Through the past, sufficient revolutions have taken place and never has a revolution grown to be fragile. Never has the same been defeated. The one we get to witness today displays the people’s audacity and their resentment with the exploitation of their rights. This escalating revolution that has created history has sent out a message that a movement carrying the essence of truthfulness is never fragile. Revolutions are proof of how authoritarian rules have been dismantled.
How far victory is nobody knows. But what is known through all this is the living fact that the nation we live in today has its democracy in the form of a castle built somewhere in the air. If today it is the farmers’ livelihood, tomorrow it could be yours. Assuming not standing up for the right is a good choice is the biggest folly you could commit today.