Updated: February 9, 2021 7:47:17 am
Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “political compulsion” made him invoke the hard times Punjab went through, and recall sacrifices made by Sikhs for the country in his Rajya Sabha speech on Monday, leaders of farmers’ unions condemned the “insult of farmers by the Prime Minister by calling them andolan-jivi (survivors on protests)”.
The Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee stated: “The PM spoke of resolving the issue through dialogue, for which we are ready. He claimed that talks are going on with the farmers. But with whom? He did not explain (that).”
Darshan Pal, president of Krantikari Kisan Union stated on behalf of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha: “No doubt Punjab’s contribution needs to be acknowledged but this andolan is of all farmers of this country…SKM condemns the PM insulting farmers by calling them andolan-jivi. Farmers would like to remind the PM that it is andolans that have liberated India from colonial rulers and that is why we are proud to be andolan-jivi…”
Sarwan Singh Pandher, general secretary, Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee, stated, “Although the PM realised our contribution…and what we went through during Partition and in 1984, he did not make any mention as to why such barricading was put up near our protest sites when we are sitting in a peaceful manner. He did not mention snapping of internet supply in these areas, depriving us from basic needs such as toilets, water supply, etc. I am still bewildered why the PM praised Sikhs…”
Condemning the statement by Modi, “who insulted protesting farmers as andolan-jovis”, All India Kisan Sabha general secretary Hannan Mollah stated that the union demands immediate withdrawal of the remarks and apology from him in Parliament. “This insult comes from a ‘corporate-jeevi’ PM whose RSS was never a part of the glorious ‘andolan’ of the people of India against the slavery of British rule. And his talk of ‘Foreign Destructive Ideology’ (FDI) perfectly fits fascism,” Mollah said.
Buta Singh Burjgill, president of BKU Dakaunda, stated: “It seems to be the political compulsion of the PM to take a soft stand towards Punjabis. However, his party men have been calling us Khalistanis since the beginning…we appreciate the PM’s words for Sikhs (but) I wish he had said them much before, or had visited the dharna site…”
Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, general secretary, BKU (Ugrahan), said, “He had to say this as his reputation worldwide has taken a dent. First the government tried to paint us in a bad light after January 26 (violence), and when they did not succeed, they are praising us now… the PM was making this statement out of his political compulsion.”
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