Justice Markandey Katju-
Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own.
The national aim of the Indian people must be to transform India from an underdeveloped to a highly developed, highly industrialized country, for only then can we get rid of our poverty, backwardness, massive unemployment, appalling level of child malnourishment, almost total lack of proper healthcare and good education for the masses, and other social evils.
Such a transformation is only possible through a historical mighty united people’s struggle, which will sweep away all the filth of feudal thinking and practices ( in the form of casteism, communalism, superstitions, etc ) which had gathered over centuries in India, and create a political and social order under which India rapidly industrializes, and its people get decent and prosperous lives, with a high standard of living.
But how was such a united people’s struggle to be initiated and launched? Our people were so divided and polarised on the basis of caste and religion, that unity, which was absolutely essential for this struggle, was missing, and we were often fighting each other on caste and religious basis. Till of late, most of the agitations in India were either religion-based e.g. the Ram Mandir agitation, or caste-based agitations e.g. the Gujar, Jat, or Dalit agitations. The anti CAA agitation was perceived by many as a predominantly Muslim agitation. The Anna Hazare agitation against corruption soon fizzled out, and only resulted in making Arvind Kejriwal the Chief Minister of Delhi, and Kiran Bedi as the Lt. Governor of Pondicherry.
That was the problem to which Indian thinkers could not find a solution to for decades, and it had become a dilemma for the country.
Suddenly, like a bolt from the blue, the farmers of India, one of the most neglected sections of our society, have resolved the problem which was plaguing the country for long. By using their creativity they have forged a unity among our masses which was missing for decades. Their agitation has smashed the barriers of caste and religion, and risen above them. Also, they have kept at a distance our politicians, who have no genuine love for the country but are only interested in power and pelf, for which they polarise Indian society by manipulating and spreading caste and communal hatred, only for creating vote banks.
The farmers’ agitation is on a real economic issue viz. that farmers were not getting adequate remuneration for their produce. It is not on an emotional and sentient issue like building a Ram Mandir. It has the support of almost all of the 750 million farmers of India, though obviously all of them cannot gather near Delhi. Also, it is bound to have the tacit support of soldiers in the Indian army, paramilitary, and policemen, because most of these are peasants in uniform, or sons of peasants. Thus it is the spark that will soon set the whole prairie on fire, and put in motion the process of the mighty historical transformation of India from an underdeveloped to a highly developed country..
As a great Asian leader said, “When hundreds of millions of peasants rise like a typhoon or tornado, it will be a force so powerful and so swift, that no power on earth can resist it.”