By Arré Bench Nov. 26, 2020
Protests against the Centre’s controversial farm laws have been raging for months. In a heartless decision by the administration, on a cold winter evening, water cannons were unleashed on protesting farmers from Haryana, marching towards Delhi. Is this how governments ought to treat its farmers?
Protests against the Centre’s controversial farm laws have been raging for months. In a heartless decision by the administration, water cannons were unleashed on protesting farmers from Haryana, marching towards Delhi.
On a cold winter evening, hundreds of farmers faced water cannons at Kurukshetra after crossing the barricades at Ambala. Is this how the government should treat its farmers?
— NDTV (@ndtv) November 25, 2020
The Delhi Police had said on Tuesday that it has rejected requests for any gathering in the national capital. It said legal action would be taken against the protesting farmers if they come to the city for any gathering amid the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. The ‘Delhi Chalo’ march is scheduled to be held on November 26 and 27.
REGARDING FARMER ORGANIZATIONS MARCH TO DELHI ON 26&27 NOVEMBER
All the requests received from various Farmer Organisations regarding protest in Delhi on 26 and 27 November have been rejected and this has already been communicated to the organisers.@CPDelhi @LtGovDelhi
— #weservedilse_DCPNewDelhi (@DCPNewDelhi) November 25, 2020
Farmer organisations from UP, Haryana, Uttarkhand, Rajasthan, Kerala & Punjab have called a march to Delhi on Nov 26 & 27. No gathering is permitted amid coronavirus.The permission has been rejected and it was communicated well in time to the organizers @CPDelhi @LtGovDelhi
— #DilKiPolice Delhi Police (@DelhiPolice) November 24, 2020
Massive security deployments have been made at border areas, especially in Haryana. Farmers pushed barricades off the bridge into the river as security forces continued to use tear gas and water cannons on protesting farmers.
Barricades flung into river, water cannons being used at the #FarmersProtest at Punjab-Haryana border.
— Sohini Guharoy (@sohinigr) November 26, 2020
#FarmersDilliChalo | Heavy police deployment at Delhi-Haryana (Kundli) border. Police personnels were seen armed, along with barricades and boulders to thwart the farmers marching from Punjab and Haryana. @newsclickin pic.twitter.com/AvaMOlq3Yi
— Ronak Chhabra (@chhabra_ronak) November 26, 2020
The attempt to stop farmers from peacefully protesting has come under severe criticism. “By stopping Punjabi farmers from peacefully exercising democratic rights, Centre is repeating 1982 when the Akalis were stopped from entering Delhi to protest. Painful history must not be forced to repeat itself,” said Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal.
By stopping Punjabi farmers from peacefully exercising democratic rights, Centre is repeating 1982 when the Akalis were stopped from entering Delhi to protest. Painful history must not be forced to repeat itself.#FarmersProtest#AntiFarmerActs
— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) November 25, 2020
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also echoed the sentiment. “All the three farming bills of the central government are anti-farmer. Instead of withdrawing this bill, farmers are being prevented from holding peaceful demonstrations, water canons are being run on them. This crime is absolutely wrong on farmers. Peaceful protest is their constitutional right,” he wrote on Twitter.
केंद्र सरकार के तीनों खेती बिल किसान विरोधी हैं। ये बिल वापिस लेने की बजाय किसानों को शांतिपूर्ण प्रदर्शन करने से रोका जा रहा है, उन पर वॉटर कैनन चलाई जा रही हैं। किसानों पर ये जुर्म बिलकुल ग़लत है। शांतिपूर्ण प्रदर्शन उनका संवैधानिक अधिकार है।
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 26, 2020
The move to water cannon farmers on a chilly winter evening drew sharp responses from all quarters.
Thinking all day, what if this government could provide this much amount of water for irrigation to the farmers instead of wasting it on them in this chilly winter just because they come out for their rights?
Do you have any shame @PMOIndia ? https://t.co/oXJocbtmYZ
— Swati K. (@mynameswatik) November 26, 2020
Govt at war vs its own people https://t.co/nMGulH3MsW
— Subhashini Ali (@SubhashiniAli) November 25, 2020
On people who grow our food. https://t.co/rrakZOCIBH
— Neera M (@NeeraMajumdar) November 25, 2020
The “Delhi Chalo” march has the support of over 300 farmers organisations from states including Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. The call for protests has been made by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh and various factions of the Bharatiya Kisan Union.
Protesting is a constitutional right and the government should resist use of force against peaceful farmers. Issues must be discussed with stakeholders in democracy to arrive at solutions. Bullying through force, especially when it concerns our annadattas, reflects poorly on our state.