This viral picture of a security person (jawan) aiming his baton against a protesting farmer (kisan) during the “Chalo Delhi” protest is the most pathetic situation any citizen can think about in the country. A closer look at the picture would make one sigh in despair on knowing that the farmer at whom the security person is aiming is an elderly person. Several other pictures of the protest have gone viral but this one is heart-wrenching.
Jawan and Kisan are the backbones of our nation — while one keeps the economy and people alive through his produce, the other ensures safety to the people by maintaining law and order, apart from guarding the borders of our country from infiltrators foregoing his comfort.
Reminding the same, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “It is a very sad photo. “Our slogan was Jai Jawan Jai Kisan, but today PM Modi’s arrogance made the jawan stand against the farmer. This is very dangerous.”
The famous slogan ‘Jai Jawan-Jai Kisan’ was coined by Lal Bahadur Shastri, the second prime minister of our nation, in 1965 to honour the two biggest pillars of the Indian democracy.
“Look at the country’s system in the BJP government. When the billionaire friends of BJP come to Delhi, they get red-carpet welcome. But when farmers come to Delhi, roads are being dug. It is right that anti-farmer laws are made but when farmers come to Delhi, it becomes wrong?” Priyanka Gandhi tweeted denouncing police action on protesting farmers.
The disrespect meted out to farmers, who keep life sustaining in the entire country, is ridiculous given the loan waivers the governments keep announcing during inclement weather and natural calamity. On one hand, the central government keeps boasting that it is farmer-friendly and on the other, the authorities try to suppress the farmers from raising their voice against the injustice being meted out to them. Thousands of farmers from Punjab reached Delhi in response to a call given by their unions to take part in the protest. Many other farmers from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhan are likely to join the protest later on Saturday.
Farmers have been protesting against the controversial agri-marketing laws enacted by the central government in September. They fear that the new laws will dismantle the minimum support price (MSP) system. They argue that over time, big corporate houses will dictate terms and the farmers will end up getting less for their crops. Farmers are worried that virtual disbanding of the mandi system would prevent them from getting an assured price for their crops.
Their demands include withdrawal of the three laws which deregulate the sale of their crops. The farmer unions could also settle for a legal assurance that the MSP system will continue, ideally through an amendment to the laws. They are also pressing for the withdrawal of the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020, fearing it will lead to an end to subsidised electricity. Farmers say rules against stubble burning should also not apply to them.
Meanwhile, environmentalists say that stubble burning in neighbouring Punjab and Uttar Pradesh is leading to air pollution on a large scale in the national capital.
In view of the wide spread opposition to the new agri-marketing laws, the ministers at the Centre should give a second thought and make necessary amendments to the laws.