Protesting Farmers Fear Gujarat Model of Violence in Delhi

Tractors coming to participate in the tractor rally in New Delhi on January 26, 2021. Photo: Kisan Ekta Morcha
Tractors coming to participate in the tractor rally in New Delhi on January 26, 2021. Photo: Kisan Ekta Morcha

Protesting Farmers Fear Gujarat Model of Violence in Delhi

The peaceful protesters fear that the Modi government will use Modi’s Gujarat model of violence to harm protesters – most of whom are Sikhs, a minority community in India.

By Rakesh Raman

As hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers have been protesting on the outskirts of Delhi for the past 2 months, they fear that the government will surreptitiously use violence to torpedo their agitation.

In a sensational claim, the farmers said on Friday (January 22) that they have captured a man trained by the police to incite violence at the protest site and kill farm leaders ahead of the tractor rally that they are planning to organize on India’s Republic Day, January 26.

According to a January 23 report by NDTV news site, the captured man is part of a 10-member team trained to commit violence and assassinate farm leaders to derail the planned tractor march and the ongoing protests by farmers.

Farmers from different states of India – but mainly from Punjab – have been protesting against the new farm laws being imposed by the government of Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi. Farmers believe that these laws will deprive them of their farming rights and they will lose their lands which will be grabbed by Modi’s capitalist friends.

While farmers have been urging the Modi government to withdraw these laws, the government has flatly refused to accept farmers’ demands. Instead of holding constructive talks with the aggrieved farmers, the Modi government has been using cheap political gimmicks to discredit the farmers and their leaders.

The government functionaries have been baselessly labeling the farmers as anti-nationals and linking them with terrorist activities. Although the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is supposed to deal with terror-related crimes, the Modi government has unleashed this Central agency to silence farm leaders and people who support farm protests.

Earlier, the government had used brute force to block the entry of farmers into Delhi. As a result, the farmers decided to sit at the borders of the national capital. Since the farmers are again trying to enter Delhi to hold their tractor march on the Republic Day, the government is trying to stop their entry by using violence. The man captured by farmers is believed to be a part of this nefarious ploy of the government.

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The peaceful protesters fear that the Modi government will use Modi’s Gujarat model of violence to harm protesters – most of whom are Sikhs, a minority community in India. In the 2002 Gujarat pogrom, while about 2,000 Muslims were murdered, there were incidents of rape, robbery, and widespread destruction of property affecting Muslims, another minority community. 

It was alleged that the killings were executed at the behest of Modi who was then the chief minister of Gujarat and his party colleague Amit Shah – who is now the Home Minister of India – was an accomplice in this alleged mass murder in Gujarat.

Later, it is alleged that Modi and Shah used the same Gujarat model of killings in the February 2020 violence that took place in Delhi to derail the protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (or CAA). At least 50 people – mostly Muslims were murdered by the mobs believed to be led by Delhi Police – which works under Home Minister Amit Shah. 

As serious questions are being raised about the integrity of investigations being carried out by Delhi Police into February communal violence that took place in Delhi, a group of former judges and civil servants has decided to hold an independent probe.

Since Modi and Shah are not able to control the increasing number of protests against them, they are terrorizing the protesters by using raw violence against them – either through the complicit police or local gangsters.

Now, the protesting farmers also fear that they will be targeted with the Gujarat pogrom model. In his public address at a protest site, a farmer leader alleged that if violence takes place against them, Modi, Shah, and their militant outfit Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will be responsible for it.

Farmers say that despite the Modi government’s refusal, they will enter Delhi on January 26 to hold their tractor rally in which thousands of tractors are expected to participate.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also runs F A C T (Farm And Crop Times) news magazine on global farming and agricultural affairs.

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Rakesh Raman