The sign of the movement has been in every phase, from the revolution to the independent phase. Parallel to the movement, efforts have been made to crush it, sometimes successful, sometimes unsuccessful. At present, along with the movements, efforts to crush them are continuing.
The movements often bring the ruling parties in an uncomfortable position, although these parties also help the movement as much as possible while in opposition. Strangely, the leaders who appear clean while in the opposition are very dirty as soon as they come to power. It may be the difference in the characters of the political leaders.
The farmers’ protest against the farm laws has been going on in the country for two and a half months. The government has made countless attempts to uproot it, but there is continuity in the movement. After the President’s address on 8 February, the Prime Minister of the country, Narendra Modi, said many unintelligible and inappropriate things in his address against the basic structure of democracy.
Using his familiar creative style, Modi coined a new term that questions leaders like Gandhi and Patel as well as democracy. According to Modi, a new group has arrived in the country which is seen in every protest. Modi this named this group as Andolanjivi.
A thorough examination of the term suggests that Modi’s creativity needs a positive direction. According to Modi, this group could not survive without the movements. A person sitting in the highest office of a democratic country, aside from the idea of the entire democratic structure, gave such a comment which can prove fatal for any democratic nation.
Modi dismissed the role of freedom fighters in a jolt by saying Andolanjivis are parasites. The direct or indirect role of Mahatma Gandhi can be seen in many movements. There may be differences in the movements’ idea and basis, but Gandhi kept connecting with the movements.
Gandhi strengthened the voice of the peasants in the Champaran Satyagraha in 1917, launched the Non-Cooperation Movement to end Indian colonialism in 1920, fought for the rights of Dalits to eradicate untouchability from society while supporting the Dalit movement of 1933, started the Quit India Movement in 1942 and decided to start a “do or die” mass civil disobedience movement to force the British to leave India. Gandhi’s movement is in double digits, making it clear that there is no bigger Andolanjivi in India than him.
To be an Andolanjivi in a democracy is as important as democracy in a country. Protests and movements strengthen democracy. In this case, their presence is like strengthening the roots of democracy. The mindset behind these deadly words of Modi shows the weakness of India’s current democratic structure.
Modi has glorified himself in his CV, writing that he played an active role in the JP movement and Gujarat’s Navnirman movement. During the UPA regime, Modi was also an Andolanjivi and launched several agitations against the then government on issues ranging from rising petrol prices to falling rupee value. Often this happens, the political leaders are something else while in opposition and something else while in power.
Leaders like Yogendra Yadav, Darshanpal Singh and Rakesh Tikait have a big role in the ongoing movement against the farm laws. Many other leaders, including Yogendra Yadav, played an active role in the movement against the Citizenship Amendment Act. In such a situation, the Prime Minister has called them Andolajivis, which is accurate, but it would have been better if taken positively.
At present, the movement is being seen as treason and the agitators parallel to the traitors, which seems against the country’s infrastructure. In a country which has got independence based on movements, it seems a foolish act to discredit the movements. Modi needs to look at anti-incumbency voices with a democratic attitude and understand that democracy will not survive on the day the agitations die. In order to keep democracy alive, every citizen of the country needs to be Andolanjivis.