It has been around eight months since alleged farmer protesters reached the Delhi border and started causing trouble to everyone in the name of protests against the three agriculture laws passed in September 2020. Things would have been sorted by now if it had been indeed about the farm laws and farmers. However, the medlding of secessionist elements and banned Khalistani organisations have made things murkier.
Recently, OpIndia listed down causes against which these so-called farmers protested, which included demands to set hardcore criminals and Naxals free.
One thing that has been evident from the initial days of the protest is that separatist powers, including Khalistanis, have infiltrated the movement. On July 18, journalist Swati Goel shared a photograph of Pind Akhara, set up at Singhu Border. These ‘akharas’ have been set up so that farmers can exercise while staying to protest against the union government. Sounds interesting. Right?
Spotted on a tent at Singhu ‘farmer’ protest site today:— Swati Goel Sharma (@swati_gs) July 18, 2021
“Pind akhada, ajj hunda Bhindranwala je, Modi nu gal to phad lenda”
Translation: “Aaj hota Bhindranwala agar, to Modi ko gale se pakad leta” pic.twitter.com/pDaUVgFf62
The things are grimmer than one may expect. The banner of the Akhara has a quote in Punjabi that reads, “Aaj hunda Bhindranwala je, Modi nu gal ton phad lainda” that means “If Bhindranwale had been here, he would have held Modi by the neck”. One may think, from where these sentiments are coming from? How the youth and farmers of Punjab are still hung on a terrorist who almost destroyed Punjab during the insurgency in the state?
Every other tent in Singhu Border has these type of posters. pic.twitter.com/cmc2j2z21O— cheems (@thegoooooodboi) July 18, 2021
The sentiments for Bhindranwale never died completely in Punjab, and from the last few years, the same sentiments have been stirred constantly by political elements and foreign organisations. These farmers protests are full of posters, banners, speeches and songs praising Bhindranwale and others who were neutralized by the Indian Army and Punjab Police at that time. The quote on the banner, as shared by Swati, is inspired by a song with the same lyrics.
The song was launched around September 2020 when the protests were rising across Punjab. Released by Jagowala Jatha, UK, this song has praises for Bhindranwale. It says, “The majestic leader who had the courage to fight the system alone if he had been alive today, he would have held PM Modi by his neck.”
Exactly pic.twitter.com/u2aw0xiTxn— Computer Farmer Ankit Raj (@raazankeet) July 18, 2021
The song further says that Bhindranwale was fearless and he did not pay heed to the Indian government. If he had been there, he would have done the same to the Modi government. It says, “He would not have chosen the path of protests. If he had raised his arms and called for his followers, the government would have hidden in the closet.” It further claimed that though farmers spend all their lives in the fields, they do not get the right price for the produce. Evidently, the Khalistan movement is also believed to have begun because of farmer protests and demand for the right price for the produce. It seems, using the shoulders of farmers to shoot the bullet is the easiest way for the anti-India forces to push their agenda.
Ironically, the three farmer laws empower the farmers to sell their produce anywhere and to anyone, liberating them from the clutches of Mandis and also gives them the power with regard to pricing, and negotiations.
The reach of songs praising Bhindranwale
Alarmingly, these songs are not limited to Youtube or forwards on WhatsApp. They are available “legally” on multiple music streaming platforms such as Spotify, Amazon Music, Gaana, Hungama and Wynk.
Apart from these services, it is widely shared on WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media networks. Sadly, this is not the only song praising Bhindranwale. Several high profile Punjabi singers including Jazzy B, Sikh granthis, pathis and kathavachaks including Barjinder Singh Parwana have released songs and audio stories on Bhindranwale. Notably, Parwana recently came in limelight for supporting those who lynched an Army man in Gurdaspur Gurudwara. The trend has picked up pace recently, and clearly, it is helping to fan secessionist sentiments in Punjab.