On Trust, Mistrust & Distrust
The Indian farmers, reportedly, had promised that they would be rallying peacefully on January 26, the day celebrated in the South Asian Nation every year to honour the Constitution of the Country that had come into effect 71 years ago, in 1950. The farmers hoisted their own flag next to the National Flag at the Red Fort in New Delhi on this Historic Day, this year. With this, not only did they, technically, breach their promise, but also went on to insult the National Tri-colour. If the protesting farmers did this, the act should well be condemned…
However, there are quite a few Conspiracy Theories in air. According to a section of people, some pro-Government elements did this in the guise of protesters in order to undermine the moral demands of the farmers. Others are of the opinion that some of the protesters were persuaded to do so! If any such thing happened, then it should also be condemned. In a nutshell, what happened in the Indian Capital on Republic Day was unexpected.
Perhaps, it would not be fair to blame the farmers, locked in protest, only. The Constitution of India recognises people’s right to stage Peaceful Protests… And, the main purpose of the protest is to draw as much attention as possible to injustice towards the farmers. That is the plausible reason behind the farmers’ intention to hold a Tractor Rally on the streets of the Indian Capital on Republic Day. The Police, by the way, allowed the farmers to hold the rally subject to 36 conditions! The protesters had accepted those conditions, but did not keep their promise. Certainly, it was wrong. At the same time, it is also necessary to understand the reason for the outburst of anger among the protesters…
The outburst of their anger was not at all totally unexpected. These farmers have been staging protests in the Indian Capital since November 26, 2020, in spite of the chilling cold and death of some protesters. The Government might have urged them to end the protest. However, 11 rounds of talks between the farmers and the Government have failed to find an amicable solution to the imbroglio. As per the Supreme Court’s advice, the Government of India proposed to suspend the Farm Laws for 1.5 years. However, the Leaders among these farmers refused to accept the same, insisting on repeal of the Laws…
Experts are of the opinion that there was a hidden message in this apparent-flexible gesture of the Government. As the Prime Minister, himself, is in favour of these Farm Laws, the Government shall never repeal those! In other words, the Government has turned this dispute into a tussle between Demand of a particular group and a person’s Stubbornness! Hence, none of the Government’s proposal was acceptable to those farmers. When a person’s stubbornness or a party’s self-interest becomes more important than the Democratic Process, an outburst of anger is quite inevitable.
The problem has seemingly worsened because of the distrust of the farmers, or by the Nation in a broad term, on the Government. Time and again, the farmers have complained that the Government is actually protecting the interests of some of the Corporate Bodies in the name of Economic Reforms. Or, it might even be conjectured with an amount of confidence that the People of India do not believe that the Government will safeguard the interests of the Common Man! Whether the allegation is true or not is not important… greater importance is the existence of such a notion in the public mind! Moreover, there have been repeated allegations that the Government is trying to sabotage the Farmers’ Movement. No amicable solution could be reached on the basis of this distrust!
The Government should try to win the trust of the people, first, in order to resolve the issue. What happened in the Red Fort on January 26 is unfortunate. It is also unfortunate that the Government of India does not know how to deal with the protests and to find a solution…
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