The horror unleashed on the roads of Delhi on the occasion of Republic Day have put down the head of every Indian in shame. The ramparts of Redfort that once witnessed the first rays of sunlight of the independent India on 15th August 1947 were maligned with miscreants unfurling a religious flag on the same spot where tricolor is unfurled every year to celebrate the festival of the Indian Republic.
The Indian Republic which was standing tall until yesterday has come to the terms that it can be hijacked anytime by an unruly mob, masked in so-called farmers’ protest. Those who believe that people who were at the Red Fort and who pushed the Police official down the drain adjacent to red fort were farmers are mistaken at many levels.
The farmers agitation intensified with three acts duly passed by Parliament of India and received the node of the President on 27th September, 2020. According to Gita Gopinath, The Chief economist of IMF, “farm bills and labour bills are very important steps in the right direction. They have the potential to have more labour market flexibility, providing greater social security to workers and more formalisation of the labour market. In the case of agriculture, having a much more integrated market, creating competition, having farmers getting a greater share of the price that finally the retail price that’s paid. So that helps with rural incomes”. Government went extra mile to hold several rounds of talks with agitating farmers but to no conclusion. It appeared that several leaders of the Kisan Union were not interested in any solution but had malafide intentions since the beginning.
Every time there is a protest, whatever the reason may be, you will find some common elements becoming the face of it. They will provide the ‘intellectual’ impetus necessary to gain the mass appeal. You will slowly see the faces that you have seen in your campuses are being interviewed on the News Channels leading the various factions of the protestors. The rhetoric of sloganeering and tamborins soon emerges. The face of the protest now start changing with ‘Bilkis Dadis’ being projected as new found leaders as it gives the protest a necessary legitimacy. The international media starts entering the pit, ‘Bilkis Dadis’ are now on the front pages of New York times and Washington post. A signature campaign starts doing round on the internet in support of protest bearing the signature of Left leaning academics. The protest has now passed the threshold of a peaceful one in the eyes of common people and media.
The next stage of the protest is violence, the leaders instigate the cadres as if the only solution left is to take charge in their hands and what you see next is a mob. A mob with no face, leaderless, fully charged with the hate against the state unleashing the horrors that reminds of the tyrannical Lenin’s initial years.
The timeline of this protest also sounds familiar with one more ingredient to it, support of Khalistani secessionist. The protest site at Singhu Border was visited by a MP from Canada’s Conservative party Mr. Ramandeep Barar openly flouting the visa norms after Canadian PM Justin Trudeau made unwarranted remarks. Ludhiana MP from Indian National Congress, Ravneet Singh Bittu who visited the singhu border was heckled by the protestors and his turban was pulled off. He alleged that some of the protestors were waving khalistani flags and crores of rupees are being channelized to the protest. There have been intelligence reports that Paksitan’s ISI channeled Rs 5 crore to the German chapter of Babbar Khalsa for creating the stir in farmers protest. The Banned terrorist organization, Sikh for Justice (SJF), has actively infiltrated the movement and is steering as per its whims and fancies. Attorney General of India, K K Venugopal told the Supreme Court on 14th January that SJF has announce reward for anyone who will host the Khalistani flag on Red Fort on the occasion of Republic Day. Anyone believing that yesterday’s incident happened in the heat of the moment is as naïve as in believing the agenda of the farmers agitation is to protect the rights of the farmer. Sikh for Justice is pro-khalistani secessionist banned outfit with its headquarter in New York, United States. Earlier they also urged the protestor to carry the life size potraits of Bhindrawale and Beant Singh during the tractor rally on 26th January. It was founded in 2007 by Gurpatwant Singh Pannu who launched the campaign “Referendum 2020” aimed at “liberate Punjab from Indian occupation” which was categorically denounced by Modi Government and Punjab State Government. The outfit was banned in India in 2019 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for anti-India activities.
What is happening on the borders of Delhi is much more than that of protest. Anti India forces have infiltrated it with active help from ISI and various other banned terrorist outfits. We need to stand up against any such effort by these forces and show that we are one, whatever our disagreements are, we are capable of coming to an agreement as per the law of the land. We the people of India have always defended the sovereignty of our country with our blood and will continue to do so.
The writer is Assistant Professor, Special Centre for National Security Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University