Farmer union protesting against Centre’s farm laws on Monday said that they have come prepared for the long haul and can sit at the dharna site “through PM Narendra Modi’s entire second term” that ends in 2024. They also asserted that they were on guard against divisive forces trying to discredit the farmers’ movement.
“Before coming to Delhi we were not sitting inside our homes for the past six months. In Punjab too, we were putting up day-night dharnas in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s Offices and conducting a Rail Roko Morcha…So, if someone is under impression that we will fed up and go back, it is their mistake,” said Satnam Sing Pannu, president of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC), while addressing his supporters at the Kundli-Singhu border on Monday.
Satnam Singh Sahni, the general secretary of BKU (Doaba), said: “Before coming to Delhi under our ‘Dilli Chalo’ movement, we were prepared for a long protest that is why we brought six months ration with us and when it will be over our men in Punjab will bring more,” said Satnam Singh Sahni, the general secretary of BKU (Doaba). He added that farmers will go move back until their demands were accepted. “We can sit here even for his (PM’s) entire term…also we are aware of attempts of pro-government outfits to sabotage of our movement,” he said.
Pannu added: “Our workers are as enthusiastic as they were on day one of the protest because fighting against anti-farmer, anti-farm labour policies has become the order of the day for us now…they can project whatever they want to project about us but we are only concerned with farmers and farm labourers.”
Col (Retired) Balbir Singh, president of the Ex-Servicemen Association of Punjab and Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association, Jalandhar, said that while all ex-servicemen of the Punjab are supporting farmers in their protest, they are also aware of the efforts being made by the pro-government organisations to break such a strong and systematic movement by projecting it negatively.
Prof Gian Singh, a noted farm expert, said that the attempts to sabotage such protests are obvious but everyone is watchful.
“Everyone wants to participate in this movement…whether it is the common man or people from fundamentalist outfits, but farmers are not allowing any fundamentalists to speak from their stage…So, such people are quietly returning after expressing solidarity with the protest,” he said, adding that farmer leaders are wise enough to control such people and prevent them from participating in their main protests.
“They are enhancing discipline at the protest site against such elements,” he said.
Prof S P Singh, former Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, too said that there were attempts to discredit or split the movement.
“Such platforms (farmers’ movement) can be broken, but the positive effect of this movement cannot be suppressed as earlier too it was dubbed as inspired by Kahistanis or fundamentalists but common man understands that it is a people’s movement,” he said, adding that this battle is going to continue for long and if farmer unions are able to control such divisive forces then a new history will be written.
Experts said that while even negative forces would try to ride piggy back on such a popular movement to push their agenda, farmers so far have done to keep such forces at arm’s length and not giving them stage time.
“It is a farmers’ movement and farmers have proved it so far despite several attempts (to discredit it),” said Prof. Gian Singh.
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