Even as the country continues to suffer a massive revenue loss caused to the illegal squatting on public lands and blocking of roads due to the farm protests, the so-called farmers danced and cheered on Friday near the Ghazipur border by blocking National Highway-9 as they joined the Bharat Bandh strike.
On Friday, a group of protesters who have been illegally squatting near the Ghazipur border for the last four months were seen singing and dancing at the protest site during the 12-hour ‘Bharat Bandh’. The Bandh was called by Samyukt Kisan Morcha against the farm reforms brought in by the Modi government.
The Samyukt Kisha Morcha had given a call for ‘Bharat Bandh’ on Friday to mark four months of their agitation at Delhi’s borders, demanding the three farm laws’ repealing. The bandh, which began at 6 AM, will continue till 6 PM, farmers’ body Samyukt Kisaan Morcha said.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday extended his support for the “Bharat Bandh” called by protestors against the three farm laws.
भारत का इतिहास गवाह है कि सत्याग्रह से ही अत्याचार, अन्याय व अहंकार का अंत होता है।— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 26, 2021
आंदोलन देशहित में हो और शांतिपूर्ण हो!#आज_भारत_बंद_है
In a tweet in Hindi, Gandhi said India’s history shows that “satyagraha” ends atrocities, injustice and arrogance. The movement should be in national interest and peaceful, the Gandhi-scion added.
Protests continue to cause massive losses to the exchequer
The protestors cheering and squatting on public roads have caused significant financial damage to the country’s exchequer as losses are mounting day-by-day with continued blocking of national highway along the borders of the national capital. The protests have impacted business in at least four states surrounding Delhi, in addition to the daily losses suffered by the NHAI. It is estimated that the agitation has already led to an approximate loss of Rs. 814.4 crore in toll collection.
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) had said that the farmers’ agitation has caused a business loss of Rs.50,000 crore in Delhi-NCR by January.
Despite the losses, the so-called ‘farmer’ leaders, with the continued support of opposition parties, are trying to keep the agitation alive with protests, roadshows and Bandhs in different parts of the country. However, the protests and bandhs have only managed to receive a lukewarm response across the country.
It is worth mentioning that the ‘farmer’ protests that allegedly began as an opposition to the farm laws have now taken the form of political protests. The protests that began in September had turned violent, culminating in the violent Republic Day riots in the national capital. The protestors, joining hands with certain Khalistani elements, had led an insurrection against the country and had invaded Red Fort on January 26.
Unleashing violence on the streets of Delhi, the violent rioters had desecrated the national flag at the ramparts of the Red Fort and had unfurled the Khalistani flag. Despite all this, the organisers of the protest continue to defend the protests as non-political and peaceful.