With the meetings between the demonstrators protesting along the Singhu borders and the central government over the newly introduced farm bills hitting an impasse, the protests have now seen participation from young and impressionable children.
Scores of children are now being used as pawns by the protesters to mount pressure on the Centre into acceding to their demands. Young children were seen holding posters and banners in solidarity with the protesters and demanding the government to repeal the farm bills.
“We belong to farmers’ families, people across India are supporting our movement – that motivates us, and hence we are here to take part,” say young children of farmers from Mohali who’ve joined #farmersprotest at Singhu Border— NDTV (@ndtv) December 15, 2020
NDTV’s Akshay Dongare reports pic.twitter.com/UuvTH0LNNx
Even though pandemic induced online schooling has greatly impacted the education of children, the protesters have used the remote schooling to their advantage, taking their children to the protest sites to rail against the farm laws. Children start their day sloganeering at the protest site and ends up poring on the screen on the screen of his smartphone, going through the assignments or notes sent throughout the day.
Earlier, Khalistani elements were found participating and actively supporting and funding the farmers’ stir near Delhi border. Khalsa Aid India had set up massage centres at Singhu border. The Khalsa Aid is a front organisation for the Khalistani outfit Babbar Khalsa International (BKI).
Children used as props during the anti-CAA stir in Shaheen Bagh
The participation of children in protest along theDelhi border bears a stark resemblance with the Shaheen Bagh protests that also witnessed children being used as prop by the protesters to garner sympathy from the masses and pressurise the government into repealing the Citizenship Amendment Act.
The anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh had witnessed a tragic death of a 4-month-old infant due to severe cold and congestion after being exposed to bitter cold that swept the national capital region earlier in January. There infant, Mohammad Jahan, who died on January 30, was taken to protest site at Shaheen Bagh almost every day. The Supreme Court had fumed over the incident, questioning how can a 4-month-old baby participate in a protest.
If this wasn’t enough, a video of children holding posters of Mohammad Jahan had gone viral on the social media websites. In the video, while the gullible children were holding Jahan’s pictures, Shaheen Bagh protesters in the background could be heard rationalising Jahan’s death as a ‘Qurbani’ or sacrifice for the anti-CAA movement.
An NGO named ‘Save Child India’ had filed a complaint with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) registering their concerns over the fact that children were being used in protests as props during the anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh. The NGO had said that using children as props for anti-CAA protests was a gross violation of the rights of children and calls it child abuse. This complaint came after several children were seen raising slogans and protesting in Shaheen Bagh.