Letter: Abusive Speech of Farm Leader Balbir Singh Rajewal
Today, I emailed the following letter to the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an organization of farmers’ movement in India.
By Rakesh Raman
To August 2, 2021
The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM)
Organization of Farmers’ Movement, India
Subject: Verify Facts of the Assertions Made by Farm Leader Balbir Singh Rajewal
Dear Leaders of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM),
I am a journalist and founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. These days, among other editorial and social projects, I produce F A C T (Farm And Crop Times) news magazine on global farming and agricultural affairs. In the agriculture domain, I also manage an information section “Rural Resistance: Protests by Farmers” which covers the agricultural reforms and the ongoing farmers’ protests in India.
As part of my work, I have been observing various events in the farmers’ agitation for the past about a year. This letter is about a particular observation on the raw assertions being repeatedly made by farm leader Mr. Balbir Singh Rajewal in his public speeches. Although all his speeches and interactions with local video producers are full of countless repetitions, here I am explaining about a specific speech which was published on YouTube on July 29, 2021. [ Please click here to watch the YouTube video. ]
While I find that Rajewal is telling blatant lies, half truths, unsubstantiated facts, and exaggerated stories, I urge you to examine all his assertions and let me know the reality. In the said speech delivered in Punjabi, Rajewal said in the beginning that he had met with a minister and urged him to make a martyrs’ memorial for the protesters who died during the protests. But he did not reveal the name of the minister – which shows that it was a fictitious story that he told to falsely impress the gullible protesters who are mostly illiterate.
Rajewal continued with an extremely abusive language against prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi. His language was so filthy that I cannot repeat it in this letter. He said that this farmers’ movement has gone global while foreign universities are coming here to do research on farmers’ protests. He added that the world’s top intellectuals are also writing thesis on the protest. But he neither named the universities nor did he tell the names of the intellectuals who perhaps exist only in Rajewal’s imagination.
The worst part of his speech was its communal and regional tenor, as he challenged PM Modi to know the history of Punjab. In a highly disturbing rhetoric, Rajewal said that Punjabis (read Sikhs) rescued your (Hindus’) daughters and sisters abducted by Moghuls, who were members of the Muslim dynasty. In just one stroke, Rajewal inflicted a divide between Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims.
Claiming the Sikh supremacy (like the sinful white supremacy or the Hindu supremacy), Rajewal – who is a Sikh – also said that his ancestors brought your (Hindus’) plundered wealth back from the looters. His random rhetoric is not only a crime, but it is also an evil act because Rajewal tried to divide the protesters on religious and regional lines. There was not even an iota of substantiation in his statements.
He did not stop there and continued to spew verbal venom. While the ongoing protests are supposed to be about the farmers’ current issues, Rajewal went back to the freedom struggle claiming that Sikhs made maximum sacrifices in India’s independence movement without mentioning the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi.
In his highly divisive speech, Rajewal said that there was no contribution of people from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu in the freedom struggle that brought independence for India in 1947. However, he added that some Bengalis died. With this kind of toxic tirade, Rajewal emphasized that the current farmers’ agitation is also continuing because of Sikhs, although the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) claims that it is an all-India initiative of people from all regions and religions.
Rajewal has repeatedly narrated a melodramatic story of his meeting in NITI Aayog on October 10, 2017 about the farm laws, which were actually announced by the Modi government in 2020. He told the same story once again to deceptively win the applause of the protesters in his audience – most of whom are clueless about NITI Aayog or the subtleties of farm laws. But there is hardly any evidence of such a NITI Aayog meeting in which Rajewal says he participated.
The self-conceited Sikh propagandist also claimed that he conceived the idea of a “farmers’ whip” which has scared almost 200 Members of Parliament (MPs) who are not allowing the Parliament to function during the ongoing Monsoon Session. But actually only a handful of MPs from Punjab are talking about farm laws. Most MPs are raising issues such as the Pegasus spyware scandal, coronavirus, Rafale deal, inflation, and so on. Without any provocation, Rajewal did not forget to brag that he wrote his idea of “farmers’ whip” in English language which was accepted by other leaders instantly.
Talking loosely about an insignificant event like the “Kisan Sansad” that a few farmers are holding casually in front of the Parliament, Rajewal claimed that it is a historic venture where people have rejected the elected MPs to establish their own Parliament. It is obviously a reckless and misleading assertion that this ignorant man made without any regard for the Indian constitution and parliamentary processes.
He went on to say that he will call dozens of retired judges and bureaucrats at the “Kisan Sansad” who will assert that the farm laws are wrong and protesting farmers are right. Strangely, he also said that he will invite one P. Sainath who has won the “Nobel Prize.” God only knows how Rajewal discovered this Nobel winner. But he did not reveal the names of judges and bureaucrats who will come to participate in the “Kisan Sansad” which looks like a street play.
Rajewal’s whims forced him further to tell another fictitious tale as he again used utterly obnoxious language for PM Modi to say that a U.S. foreign minister who was visiting India censured PM Modi. Perhaps Rajewal was talking about the U.S. Secretary of State Mr. Antony Blinken who was visiting India on July 27 and July 28. But the self-styled farm leader once again failed to provide a basis for his claim about the condemnation of PM Modi. Rajewal should have realized that the farm agitation has failed from the fact that Mr. Blinken did not invite farm leaders for discussion while he met with other civil society members.
Obviously, a blabber like Rajewal is among the major factors for the failure of the farm agitation that had begun in November 2020 on the outskirts of Delhi. A few other cunning farm leaders also claim that the foreign governments are supporting their demand of repealing the farm laws, but no foreign leader ever made such an assertion.
Initially, the Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, British Labour Party MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Chuck Schumer, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued some routine statements.
But these statements were not about the merits or demerits of the farm laws. Rather, they urged the Modi government to allow farmers to hold peaceful protests. Since the farm leaders have failed in their protest and have nothing to boast about, they are falsely claiming in front of the ignorant protesters that foreign leaders are supporting their demands.
In the past, Rajewal has also claimed that the UK PM Boris Johnson had canceled his visit to India in April after learning about farmers’ protests. But Johnson had canceled his visit because of coronavirus. Rajewal also brags that he has received a letter from the former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in support of farmers’ protest. But he has not publicly shown any such letter. He expects people to trust him blindly.
However, the farm leaders must realize that no endevour can succeed if it is founded on deceit and falsehood. If the genuine farmers really want to get their agitation revived, they must find a truthful and selfless leader and keep a pied piper like Rajewal away from the protest.
I hope that the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) will immediately reveal the truth behind Rajewal’s reckless statements and inform publicly what action the SKM has taken to tame him and others like him in order to keep the dwindling agitation on the right track.
Editor, RMN News Service [ Website ]
Founder, RMN Foundation [ Website ]
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