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A Khalistani plot to tarnish Republic Day rally of 20 lakh farmers on 8 lakh tractors?

By Harsh Thakor*

A historic peaceful march in the Capital of over 20 lakh peasants riding on eight lakh tractors is being foisted as a conspiracy against the nation. The sinister act of hoisting the Sikh flag at the Red Fort was undertaken by a person suspected to be a BJP agent, Deep Sidhu. He allegedly infiltrated the ranks, masquerading as a farmer activist.
Sections of the Kisan Sangharsh Committee, particularly the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU)-Krantikari appeared to have played into the hands of the rulers by raising Khalistani politics and robbing the agitation of its secular democratic prestige.
While the marchers stuck to the plan and did not divert from the route, certain disruptionist elements from the Kisan Sangharsh Committee with Khalistani overtones violated the discipline and started attacking police barricades. Tragically, one farmer succumbed to police attacks.
BKU (Ugrahan) secretary Sukhdev Singh Khokri told me that the conduct at Red Fort was a complete aberration of the agenda planned with almost every participant adhering to the conditions agreed upon. The provocation virtually gave a licence to the rulers to launch repression, paving the way for justifying terror on farmers, he added.
Naujwan Bhrat Sabha leader Rupinder Singh Chaunda agreed with him. Sections of social media played a sinister game by portraying the march as an act of anarchy or plot against the state, going to the extent of even denying the event as a genuine farmers’ rally.
BKU (Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan said that the protest march was successfully conducted in a disciplined manner, adding, protest marching on the streets of Delhi is a fundamental democratic right of the people and the Modi government was looking for an excuse to crush this right.
According to him, a struggle is being fought for farmers’ demands, which is being supported by people of all religions and castes of society. The movement cannot be allowed to be used for the purposes of creating a religion-based state. The flag hoisting belonging to a particular religion provided the government an opportunity to campaign against the movement, he added.
Majority of participants in the tractor rally was from Punjab. They came from the BKU (Ugrahan) ranks, followed by that of the Kirti Kisan Union. Also notable was the big landless labour Dalit contingent participating organised by the Zameen Prapt Sangarsh Committee and the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union.
Countless preparatory rallies and meetings were stage in Delhi and in Punjab. A section of farmers entered into confrontation at the barricades and police threw tear gas. However, in general it went peacefully. In spite of the several permutations and combinations the basic unity was preserved.
Preparatory programmes were launched all over Punjab sowing the seeds for the success of the event. Leaders like Rajinder Singh of the Kirti Kisan Union, Joginder Singh Ugrahan and Shingara Singh Mann of BKU (Ugrahan) played a major role in this.
Farmers in across Punjab protested at toll plazas, in front of the houses of BJP leaders, in front of the business places of Ambani. and Adani and in the parks along railway stations. On January 19, a protest against World Trade Organisation (WTO) was organised, where effigies of Narendra Modi and WTO were burned.
On January 20 at Pakora Chowk on Tikri border of Delhi a programme 'Godi media Juth rakha' was staged exposing lies on the social media. Addressing the gathering BKU (EU) leaders Shingara Singh Mann and Jaswinder Singh Longowal said that the Modi government has been testing the patience of farmers, who have been struggling in bone-chilling cold nights for months to get the agriculture laws repealed.
On January 21 a major solidarity programme of mobilising 250 tractors was staged in Nihalsinghwala district, A rally started from Saidoka with slogans condemning the Modi government. Buta Singh Bhagike, Tiran Saidoke, Jagmohan Singh Saidoke, Hardeep Singh Mada, Kartar Pamma and Shingara Singh Takhtupura addressed a gathering. 
Again, on January 21 in Sangat block a major rally was staged from Naruana to Dumwali Another rally was staged in Shakhot area in Barnala, involving 400 tractors. Balwant Mansial and Gurcharan Singh Chahal addressed the gathering.
On January 22, a large number of tractors staged protests along the Delhi borders and marched there in large convoys. Estimates Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, general secretary of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), the convoys of more than 30,000 tractors were on the move. They had reached Delhi on invitation of 32 farmer organizations.
In Nawanshahr, on January 22, a group of 300 tractors left from the district Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar to join the tractor parade in Delhi under the leadership of Kirti Kisan Union leader Master Bhupinder Singh Waraich and district secretary Tarsem Singh Bains. Convoys were also sent to Delhi by union leaders Makhan Singh Bhanmajara, Buta Singh Mahmudpur, Avtar Kat, Jasbir Deep, Raghbir Singh Asmanpur and Hari Ram Rasoolpuri.
Meanwhile, a three-day programme was held in Mumbai at Azad Maidan from January 23 to 26 involving many spectrums of the opposition, particularly Left peasant organizations. There was significant mobilization from Nasik and Dahanu district. It was supported by Shiv Sena and Congress. Around 12,000 farmers participated in a rally. It included a small section of industrial workers, too.
---
*Independent journalist

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