The Republic Day in 2021 will be quite a spectacle. Apart from the usual annual parade, there will be another this time around. The Delhi Police has granted permission to farmer protesters for their tractor parade at the national capital on the 26th of January. There were security concerns previously and it is not clear really if they have been alleviated.
The farmer protests became toxic a long time ago and the toxicity will penetrate the Republic Day celebrations as well. The Republic Day is extremely important for the State of India. The 26th of January is probably the most important day for the Indian State. It is the celebration of the day when India became a Republic.
And it is indeed a sorry day for the country that this year, those who have continued to hold the country under siege will mock the Indian State by orchestrating their own show of strength. So, how did we get here? Truth be told, everyone has to accept their share of the blame but obviously, there are those who are more responsible than others.
The Congress Party
As we have maintained here at OpIndia, the Congress Party will be more than willing to set the entire country on fire if only they could rule over the ashes. They have demonstrated that quite eloquently during the whole set of events.
The only thing that mattered to the Congress party is that it saw an opportunity which it could use to undermine the ruling dispensation. It conveniently ignored the fact that they had advocated for the same reforms earlier. Instead, they threw their full weight behind the protesters.
Rahul Gandhi, meanwhile, former president of the Congress party, and in all probability the next one, has been making comments that come across as WhatsApp forwards. “There is no deadlock. The government, in its arrogance, believes that they can tire out farmers. But farmers cannot be fooled. Indian farmers know more than the Prime Minister. There is only one solution that they have to take back the laws,” he said addressing a press conference.
More recently, he has said that the three laws will permit ‘2-3 big industrialists’ to take over Indian agriculture. Such rhetoric had terrible consequences and eventually, Jio Towers were vandalised in Punjab in large numbers. The Punjab Chief Minister had to come out strongly against the vandals but it is his own party that incited the whole fracas. The Congress party led the horse to the water and then cried foul when the horse decided to drink it.
It is not just the Congress party that is responsible for inciting such protests. The Opposition parties must take blame as well. Every opposition party has fueled these protests and encouraged them. The Aam Aadmi Party, consistent with its hysterical brand of politics, provided the protesters with free WiFi.
Mamata Banerjee encouraged the protests as well. And so did the Samajwadi Party and every other opposition party. It’s important to realize what exactly such opposition parties have been supporting.
They support holding the country to ransom in order to demand that laws passed by the democratically elected Parliament of India are repealed. Thus, rather ironically, political parties are backing protests that directly attack our democratic system.
Unfortunately, they do not realize the dangerous game they are playing here. Or, perhaps, they do and they are doing it anyway. If organized mobs can attempt to force their will upon the whole country by blocking highways, why should a citizen bother voting for any of these parties?
Our votes are not worth a damn thing if organized mobs can force their way through using unconstitutional methods and it is outrageous that political parties, who are in the business of earning votes, are supporting this madness.
Apart from opposition parties, career-protesters such as Yogendra Yadav have also played their part. It is unclear precisely when that despicable man became a farmer or a leader or a farmer leader. But he has and he is one of the ones primarily responsible for taking the farmers on a joy ride for his personal agenda.
From the very beginning, it has been clear that Khalistani elements have been attempting to hijack these protests for their own ends. Celebrities and various prominent Khalistani organizations have been involved in the organization of the protests. Anyone with a set of functional eyes is fully aware of this.
However, when the Government said in Court that Khalistanis were attempting to hijack the protests, Opposition parties were up in arms. Eventually, Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu himself said that Khalistanis were involved, in a stinging rebuke to the narrative his party had been peddling.
Thus, the farmer protests have been a platform for losers of all sorts to revive their fortunes. Celebrities who are long past their sell by date, creepy celebrities who just love attention, the Opposition parties whose political prospects have been in tatters for some time and, of course, Khalistanis, whose dream for Khalistan will remain a dream for the foreseeable future.
Thus, if Democracy be damned, why would any of them care anyway? Celebrities are not known for their remarkable intellect anyway and Democracy has not exactly been treating our opposition parties very well recently.
Working towards the same end
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.
Terrorist organization Sikh For Justice has announced a 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.
Pro-Khalistan and anti-India slogans have also been raised at these protests and now such people will likely march at the tractor parade at the national capital on Republic Day.
Republic Under Siege
Thus, all such elements have come together to herald a situation where our Republic is under siege. The Tractor Parade on Republic Day is the demonstration of strength by hostile forces that want to hold our country hostage.
Democracy is in crisis today and in large parts, it is so because vast sections of the establishment maintain the pretense when it suits them that protests are, by default, morally sound and protesters, by default, are on a morally superior plane than elected governments. It is the same approach that was adopted in the United States when left-wing mobs were permitted to run riot and it is the same approach that we see in regards to the anti-farm law protesters.
Until now, they have been allowed a free run. The protesting sites have practically become areas where Indian laws do not apply. Female reporters are being sexually harassed, people are being held hostage against their will and brutally thrashed as evidenced by what happened to Masked Man Yogesh. And if he is to believed, there may be more currently in their captivity.
Now the same people, under the patronage of whom all of this has been happening, will march at the national capital at a tractor parade on Republic Day. It is a direct threat to the Indian State and ought to be interpreted as such. Will the criminals among them be brought to justice? It is extremely unlikely that they ever will be.
There is the threat of violence and it cannot be emphasized enough that violence at Delhi on Republic Day will be seen as the ultimate embarrassment for the Indian State and that is precisely what the protesters seek. The SFJ has already claimed that should there by any violence at the tractor parade, the government will be responsible for that.
Thus, the tractor parade on Republic day will be demonstration of the fact that the Indian Republic is being held hostage by hostile elements which, unfortunately enough, includes political parties of our Democracy. Violence may not happen on the 26th of January but it will remain a possibility even after tomorrow.
Passions have been roused to such a degree that protesters are unwilling to make any compromises and should the Government give in to their demands, it will set a terrible precedent and will effectively make Democracy untenable.
Motivated actors have set the stage where an outbreak of violence more imminent than ever. If India can manage to avoid such an outcome, we should consider ourselves really fortunate and thank the Gods for their generosity. But as of now, all possibilities are on the table.