As the nation celebrates Republic Day, honouring the day on which the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950, mobs have taken over the streets right outside the borders of Delhi. As the so-called farmers break barricades and march inside Delhi and one saw horrific visuals of policemen being attacked and swords being drawn by the so-called farmers, prominent journalist Sagarika Ghosh, who is widely known as a propagandist, often spreading fake news, is in a jolly mood, celebrating the display of mobocracy by farmers during the tractor rally.
At 11:17 AM, just as news of the violence started trickling in, Sagarika Ghosh picked up the visuals of so-called farmers breaking the barricades to enter Delhi and rejoiced about the mob putting the ‘public’ back into the ‘Republic’. Almost mocking the people of India who choose to follow the law and take pride in their nation, she tweeted the violent visuals with the hashtag #HappyRepublicDay.
It is important to notice the kind of violence that Sagarika seems to be celebrating here.
Visuals appeared where these so-called farmers were seen attacking the police with sticks, breaking the barricade to enter Delhi while the security, as is the norm, was put on high alert for Republic Day celebrations.
Similar visuals emerged from the Delhi-Meerut Highway.
After farmers became violent, the police was even forced to use tear gas.
Delhi: Police used tear gas shells after isolated incidents of scuffle between protestors and police took place at Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar and protestors took over a police vehicle pic.twitter.com/bbu8nMnHNp— ANI (@ANI) January 26, 2021
While these visuals emerge, as the nation celebrates Republic Day, one has to truly wonder what mindset would let someone celebrate, rather emphatically and publicly, the nation descending into anarchy because certain elements and political parties cannot stand to lose power to the will of the people. The farm laws were enacted by the elected government of India and in all respects, it is a law that will uplift farmers from being taken advantage of by middlemen. Large parts of the nation’s farmers support the farm laws and have extensively spoken about how it helped them.
However, for the past 3 months, it is only the Punjab and some elements from Haryana who have been protesting continuously, demanding that the farm laws be taken back. As the protests progressed, it became exceedingly clear that the ones protesting were not really farmers, but several vested interests who wanted the nation to burn.
From Congress’ Rahul Gandhi to Mamata Banerjee of the TMC, Sharad Pawar of NCP and several leaders of other opposition parties have encouraged the tractor parade by these so-called farmers.
Terrorist organization Sikh For Justice has announced Rs. 1.8 crore award for hoisting the Khalistani flag at India Gate on Republic Day. Gurpatwant Singh Pannu of the SFJ said, “On January 26, Sikhs should roam in Delhi on their tractors and remove every tricolour. The Indian flag is the symbol of suppression that Sikhs have faced in India. Every Indian flag must be removed and crushed.”
Rakesh Tikait, one of the prominent figures involved in the protest, had then announced a march from Red Fort to India Gate but that appears to have been abandoned. Several instances have occurred where the protesters raised Kahlistani slogans and indulged in violence.
It is quite worrying, really, that everyone who has encouraged the tractor parade is working towards the same goal as Khalistanis. The core agenda for all the actors involved is embarrassing the central government which, under current circumstances, would amount to an embarrassment for the Indian Republic. Sagarika Ghose celebrating the violence that is now erupting on Republic Day is symptomatic of this greater malaise that stopped these journalists from calling out the charade that was playing out right in front of our eyes for months.
It is pertinent to note that on the 24th of February, Dependra Pathak, Special CP, Intelligence, Delhi Police has announced that permission has been granted to the farmer protesters to conduct a tractor parade at the national capital on the occasion of Republic Day. He said that sanctity and security of the Republic Day celebrations will be maintained. Pathak said, “We have finally decided, we have agreed that we will have tractor rally also on that day (Republic Day) maintaining the sanctity and security arrangements of the Republic Day celebrations.”
However, the so-called farmers seem to have broken that agreement and started indulging in violence and marching inside Delhi even while the Republic Day parade was on. Earlier, the government of India had offered to suspend the implementation of farm laws for a year to a year and a half to talk to these farmers and talk, clause-by-clause, what they would want amended. However, through several rounds of talks, these farmers have adamantly refused to budge and demanded that they will not stop protesting till the farm laws are repealed completely.
Farmers tractor rally: What are the farm laws that farmers are protesting against
One of the biggest factors plaguing the growth of agriculture sector in the country is the inability of the farmer to find a market and to get a fair price to his produce. To address the issue, the erstwhile governments of different states enacted the Agricultural Produce Market Regulation Acts (APMC Acts), which authorised them to set up and regulate marketing practices in wholesale markets.
The objective of these markets was to ensure that farmers get a fair price for their produce. However, with each passing year, the APMCs turned out to be inefficient with increasing cartelisation of middlemen, ban on private players to enter the trade, increasing corruption etc.
The Modi government recently introduced three bills to promote much easier trade for the farm produce and to provide a competitive market for the producers outside the existing APMC system. The three laws were:
- The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020: This law aims at creating additional trading opportunities outside the APMC market yards to help farmers get remunerative prices due to additional competition
- The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020: This law relates a framework for contract farming through an agreement between a farmer and a buyer prior to the production or rearing of any farm produce.
- The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020: This law aims to regulate the supply of certain food items only under extraordinary circumstances.
It is pertinent to mention that the farm laws are set of three laws that allow farmers to sell their products outside APMC act (most states make it compulsory for the farmers to sell at APMC mandis). It also allows farmers to directly have a contract with corporate houses.
That farm laws don’t do away with APMC, and if someone is not willing to trust markets outside the current system, they are free to stick to the ongoing system. It doesn’t do away with MSPs either. However, the prevalent narrative that seems to be motivated by political concerns falsely claims that APMCs and MSP are being done away with.
They also allege that due to these laws, big corporations would have the upper hand in a deal with farmers, however, that again is a lie. In fact, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 ensures that a contract is agreed upon and gives the farmer the power to even cancel contracts.