What Indians saw on several TV channels on the 26th of January, was for many of us the culmination of several weeks of protest that were termed peaceful, as in the case of Shaheen Bagh but they had very little to do with the truth or the laws passed by the Centre.
Both had large scale funding from abroad and both had malicious leaders from various parties in the opposition that I need not even mention, as all their views to incite violence is on TV channels, Face Book and Twitter. I call them the anarchists — you do have many in democracies. I wish they would criticize the Centre on real facts and not on whether our Airforce really killed 300 terrorists in Balakot.
I have never seen such people of moral decay, who want power so much, that they will resort to scare tactics to bring anarchy and try and destroy the very country that gave them the power in the first place. Today, India’s opposition parties as well some in the media are trying actively to bring down a government that has an overwhelming mandate.
The government has the trust of the common people not because of money and power and perception but by what the have delivered. Whether it be electricity for all, cooking gas for the poorest: toilets; brick and mortar homes; inclusive banking for all; much improved infrastructure for freight trains and passenger trains; clean stations; miles of highways and making rivers in India more navigable. This has not happened in several decades.
In addition, the focus on digital payments and on skill training for jobs; superfast freight train to get grains and goods to markets; and one of the largest renewable energy programs in the world, can be judged by all Indians.
But it seems this is too much for the opposition as none of them could perform as the BJP govt has in the six years- and they were given 70 years. So now they turn to see how they can stop the work of reform—whether it is in farming or labour or land. These Breaking India Forces will rile up the farmers or land owners or factory workers and one can expect many more such deadly protests unless we the people; the judiciary, the govt and media can expose their vicious games.
I challenge Rahul Gandhi, Yogendra Yadav, Arvind Kejriwal or Sitaram Yechury and many like them to prove what I have said is untrue.
As protesting farmers turned into a rioting mob to unleash violence on Republic Day, the world saw the damning visuals of farmers trying to run over policemen with their tractors; farmers brandishing swords and sticks and beating up police.
More than three hundred uniformed men have been injured some critically. The leaders who incited them were bunkered down it seems and though their speeches have been captured on videos they are trying to deny they had anything to do with it. Their theory of fringe elements indulging in violence is laughable as 7000 farmers with tractors and several thousand more on motorcycles and cars on the streets of Delhi can hardly be the fringe.
Rakesh Tikait, Bharatiya Kisan Union’s National Spokesperson, was the leader most interviewed during all the discussions with the Centre and the most belligerent of the lot. He threatened that there was no question of discussing and coming to a compromise with the government. It was his way or the center would suffer. This kind of threat is not acceptable in any democracy and I just wonder how he got away with it. I doubt he will be able to after we saw the destruction and mayhem on 26 th of January.
Just before the 26 th January tractor rally, in an undated video, Tikait provoked the farmers to bring their own flags and sticks, and hoist their religious flags on Republic Day as the Agriculture laws will take away farmers’ land! How is this even possible?
Just a year before many such vested interests told the Muslims in India that the CAA would take their citizenship away even though there is not one single line in the law that says this.
The same scare tactics. The same playbook and unfortunately the same rabble rousers.
This could be a coincidence once and one can blame the Centre for not communicating enough and not being able to get the truth out before the lies by the “Breaking Up India Gang” became the Mantra for endless protests. But for the same game to be played whenever the Government wants to improve livelihoods is hardly a coincidence. It is a well-funded and well-planned movement, very much part of vicious opposition forces trying to spread anarchy in India. Add millions of dollars of funding from Sikhs for Justice and Khalistanis along with the Pakistani ISI and you get a potent mix and a fall out like the one we saw on Republic Day.
Today the opposition is not a force for good but aligned with China and Pakistan and speak their language. It is astounding to hear Rahul Gandhi and others being quoted by the Pakistani media and they actually consider it a feather in their cap! In their place I would have died of shame.
In another video, Tikait was heard threatening Delhi Police that if they try to stop tractors from entering Delhi, they will attack. He claimed that no one could stop tractors, and if anyone tries to do so, the person will be dealt with violence. There are many like him egged on by political parties that are a disgrace to our country.
Appeasement of protesters who block main highways for months, sealing the borders of a capital city only gives them the upper hand. That is where negotiations end. It is estimated that this protest has cost the exchequer more than 60, 000 Crores, due to barricaded highways; closed factories; goods not being able reach destinations and this in not counting the effect it has had on the local residents of villages, which were practically locked down for the last few months.
As I write this there is trouble in Tikri border and the Singhu border where farmers are determined to resume their protests but now the locals have had enough.
They are ready to take on the farmers and drive them away from their area. Riot police are also bearing the brunt of the famers refusing to budge and once again threatening them with swords and pelting stones. There is not an iota of sympathy for the farmers anymore. The locals say they saw how the famers beat up even women police and put up their religious flag on the Red Fort. They say our national flag represents the whole nation and religious flags only belong in places of worship.
If the Centre does not act soon and firmly, I fear we will see more anarchy in the coming days. How can less than 6 lakh farmers from just two states Punjab and Haryana, and the periphery of Western UP, hold hostage a Farm Law that the whole of India and its farmers agree with?
This is the question no one seems to be asking but it merits a deeper debate.
(Ashali Varma is India Se Media’s New Delhi Bureau Chief)