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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Chaduni’s 2-minute video messages boost protesting Haryana farmers’ morale

Buoyed by his brief messages, farmers have prevented functions by several BJP-JJP leaders from taking place in the state in the past four months.

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Chandigarh |
Updated: April 26, 2021 5:00:24 am
Chaduni’s 2-minute video messages boost protesting Haryana farmers’ moraleFollowing farmers’ protest, BJP’s ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’ was cancelled and Khattar had accused Chaduni of instigating the farmers “to create ruckus”. (File)

TWO-MINUTE LONG video messages by Haryana farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni are proving to be just the boost protesting farmers need to keep their stir against the Centre’s farm laws going, even when no big ‘Kisan mahapanchayats’ are currently taking place.

Buoyed by his brief messages, farmers have prevented functions by several BJP-JJP leaders from taking place in the state in the past four months.

In messages delivered through small video clippings, Chaduni urged farmers to ensure free passage of vehicles at toll plazas on national highways in the state. Currently, most of the toll plazas in Haryana are not functional with farmers sitting on dharnas there. On his call, protesters had even broken police barricades on the national highway to move to Delhi in November 2020 as part of their call ‘Delhi Chalo’.

For the past one year, Chaduni has taken the help of social media to energise farmers. Haryana BKU spokesperson Rakesh Bains says, “Chaduni mainly delivers his message through a two-minute video clipping. The videos are shot at various places, be it roadside, an agricultural field, a dharna site or his home. It’s easier for farmers to share these small clippings and understand his message which is delivered in simple language.”

As part of the agitation, protesting farmers have announced “social boycott” of BJP-JJP leaders to express their resentment against the three contentious farm laws.

BKU leader Karam Singh Mathana said: “Chaduni’s appeal through his video clippings and farmers’ response to the same forced BJP-JJP leaders to cancel their several public meetings. Mathana also says that the recent massive protests against Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Rohtak and against Dushyant Chautala in Hisar were following the call of Chaduni and other farmer leaders. On April 3, the authorities were forced to change the landing site for CM’s chopper in Rohtak. Two days before it, on April 1, Chautala was forced to take an aerial route to cover an 8 km distance in Hisar town when farmers had blocked the road leading to the town from the local airport. On the same evening, Chaduni issued a 2.14-minute-long video clipping to congratulate the farmers for forcing

“Dushyant to run away”. “Dushyant was adamant to come to the town but our brave farmer brothers forced him to run away,” he said in a message.

Following Chaduni’s 1.31 minute-long video message, farmers did not allow landing of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s helicopter in Kaimla village on January 10 despite deployment of around 1,500 policemen and use of water cannons, tear gas and mild lathicharge by the police.

Chaduni’s message stated: “Meri benti hai ki iski marod nikal do (I request you to teach Manohar Lal Khattar a lesson). Make so much opposition that he is not able to do a programme there. On the one hand, the BJP is inviting us for talks, while on the other hand, it is holding kisan panchayats. They are misleading the farmers. We have to oppose it strongly.”

Following farmers’ protest, BJP’s ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’ was cancelled and Khattar had accused Chaduni of instigating the farmers “to create ruckus”.

Not only this, in the evening, Chaduni released another video to take responsibility for the incident. On its part, police lodged an FIR against Chaduni and 70 others for “creating disturbance in the event. A few FIRs were registered when he called farmers to burn effigies of the Prime Minister as part of their agitation.

“We don’t recall exactly how many FIRs have been lodged against Chaduni. The number must be 35-36. But we don’t care as the ongoing struggle is meant for the survival of farmers. To save our land, we are forced to fight on roads and raise our voice on social media and apart from legal battles in courts,” says Bains.

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