Anarchy of a ‘Peaceful’ Protest

    18-Feb-2021
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As the sun sets on the 72nd Republic Day, the nation witnessed an abhorrent sight at the iconic Red Fort in Delhi. A situation of complete anarchy following the Tractor Parade saw Sikh separatists embarassing the 1783 Khalsa siege of Red Fort
-Devanshu Mittal
 

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After the violence broke out, Sanyukta Kisan Morcha leaders, including Yogendra Yadav and Balbir Singh Rajewal, desperately attempted and even succeeded temporarily in making the countrymen believe that they were ashamed of the violence. But really? Or was it the desired result of the Tractor Parade? Even if the whole opposition and the purported Kisan leaders claim it a peaceful Satyagraha, the scenes in the backdrop of it narrate an utterly different irony.
 
Background of Delhi Siege
 
Anarchy presided over the farmers’ protest since its initial stage. Since day one, the purported Kisan leaders and other extremist speakers carried a violent attitude in their speeches. Using ‘mob-mongering’, the peaceful farmers had already freed several toll plazas and trains during the ‘Rail Roko’ protests.
 
While the national media was painting the protests ‘peaceful’, the open defiance of 144 quickly predicted the upcoming mayhem. No doubt, the Union leaders deliberately allowed a vast space for violent clashes with the Haryana and Uttarakhand police to radical elements like Deep Sidhu, Lakha Sidhana, Gurnam Singh Chadhuni, etc. on November 25 and 26.
 
Who was Targeted?
 
Maoists are considered modern masters of guerrilla warfare. They count their needs, finalise and analyse their target and finally launch a calculated attack. The peaceful protesters chose the Swadeshi structure of the country for whatever their needs are. First, the union leaders alleged Patanjali, Reliance and Adani group would confiscate their land. Secondly, they reiterated the same notion in their aggressive speeches at the protests since September, giving no factual reasons. And finally called the country to boycott the products and services of these Swadeshi firms.
 
This ‘peaceful boycott’ was immediately followed by violent and forceful vandalisation of Patanjali, Reliance and Adani infrastructure. Most significant in Punjab where it even included Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras, well renowned for providing medication at reasonable rates. The Jan Aushadhi Kendras’ fault lies merely in its name associated with the Prime Minister, even though the scheme appoints independent franchise owners, not full time government management. Reportedly, more than 1500 communication towers of Reliance were smashed or shut down. In a shocking incident, a power generating Reliance tower in a Punjab village was removed to be served at the local village Gurdwara. Banda Singh Bahadur must have never even dreamt of such an act.
 
Lastly, peoplealready facing political persecution in Punjab, Kerala and West Bengal, besides Bharatiya Janata Party’s workers are again the target of so-called peaceful Kisan protesters’. Their crime is merely being members of a party in power at the Centre. Several fatal attacks on BJP workers by the Kisan protesters have been reported. Most prominent ones include the mayhem at Karnal Kisan Mahapanchayat of Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and Atal Bihari Vajpayee Birth Anniversary event in Bathinda, littering Tikshan Sood’s residence with cow dung in Hoshiarpur, vandalising Haryana assembly Deputy Speaker Ranvir Gangwa’s car, etc.
 
Who was the Instructor?
 
Direct instructions cost heavy loss of national empathy sentiment, so the Andolanjeevis invented a new tool. Since September, some points have been widespread in every speech at the Kisan protests. These include emotionally narrating the Sikh heroics and religious sentiments, passing derogatory comments about non-Sikhs, flaunting victories over foreign invaders and comparing the medieval radical Islamist regimes with the Union Government.
 
All of these for the sake of widening the crack between Punjab or the Sikhs and India’s rest. The instigating statements and appeals that caused the Republic Day Red Fort violence were not the first time that the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha leaders did. Moreover, the zero-cooperative policy of the leaders also made violence easily predictable.
 
But let’s not be partial in naming the accused. Heavily controlled by the Canada-based ‘promoters’, Punjabi entertainment artists who played a major role as protest campaigners also share compliance. Over a hundred Punjabi songs have been released themed around the protests. Even these songs featured the above-mentioned divisive propaganda. Psychology is no more a subject than rocket science and imagining the effects on one’s behaviour and attitude being surrounded by such songs and speeches most of the day is quite simple.
 
The peaceful boycott was immediately followed by violent and forceful vandalisation of Patanjali, Reliance and Adani infrastructure. Most significant in Punjab where it even included Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras, well renowned for providing medication at reasonable rates
 
Who Called It ‘Peaceful’?
 
The culprits, i.e., the leaders of these violent but ‘peaceful’ protests have been already exposed above. Even if the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha alleged by blamed Deep Sidhu, Satnam Singh Pannu, etc. for the violence, the fact is that they were not blind to their plan. The significant number of Nihang Sikhs with heavy arms and other potential anarchical elements were visible. Aggressive speeches and songs were audible via a high-quality sound system.
 
Next, the media was a major player in diverting the blame. While the Punjabi media almost celebrated and justified the violence at these ‘peaceful’ protests the national and international media repeatedly attempted to save the culprits. They even reported alleged inflation in the number of protesters at the Delhi borders, every time violence was reported. The international media even labelled it as the “world’s biggest peaceful protest”, which even gained international celebrities’ artificial support. And left no stones unturned in reporting the violent ‘peaceful’ protests.
 
This newly invented method of Andolanjeevis to portray anarchy as Satyagraha traces a pattern of reviving insurgency. Its motives disputably include challenging India’s stability and sovereignty, gaining political profits, maligning India’s internationally and even diluting India’s soft power image.
 
(The writer is a student of Kurukshetra University)