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.
It is reported that Internet and telephone services at Ghazipur, Tikri, and Singhu borders of Delhi have been shut down by the authorities. The authorities perhaps believe that by doing this they will suppress the farmers’ agitation, but in my opinion, it will only exacerbate the situation.
The authorities are behaving like King Canute of England who told the tidal wave to go away. They tried to depict the farmers by their Goebbelsian propaganda ( through the shameless sold-out ‘godi’ media ) as Khalistanis, Pakistanis, Maoists, anti-nationals, etc, but this fooled no one.
Then they sent goondas ( hooligans ) to attack the farmers assembled at the Delhi borders, but these were chased away by the farmers. Policemen were also sent to disperse them, but I was informed by a young friend who regularly visits the farmers and supplies them with food, water bottles, etc that many policemen embraced the farmers and wept, though they requested that videos of this be not taken lest they are victimized. After all, most policemen ( and army soldiers ) are sons of farmers, and in their hearts would be sympathizing with them.
One is reminded of the St Cloud Ordinances of French King Charles X issued on 25th July 1830 for suppressing freedom of the press in France, which resulted in the July Revolution after 3 days of barricade fighting in Paris, and removal of the King.
In February 1917 the Russian soldiers who were ordered to shoot at the demonstrators instead fraternized with them, resulting in the downfall of the Czarist regime.
The farmers of India are about 75 crores (750 million ) in number, which is a huge force that has been unleashed, like a tidal wave. Napoleon said about the Chinese people ” Let the sleeping giant sleep, for when he awakes, the world will tremble “. The same can be said about Indian farmers today, who were till now slumbering, like Kumbhakarna.
India could not progress till now because we were divided on the basis of caste and religion, and this weakness was utilized by our selfish politicians to create vote banks for themselves by polarizing society and inciting caste and communal hatred and violence. The present ongoing farmers’ agitation has smashed the barriers of caste and religion united the people, which is its historical achievement. It has also told the politicians to keep at a distance.
This movement, which presently is only for economic demands e.g. remunerative prices for agricultural produce, will later develop into a mighty people’s struggle, which may last for 10-15 years, but will inevitably result in creating a political and social order under which India rapidly industrializes, and India becomes a prosperous nation with its people enjoying a high standard of living, and with decent lives.
Long live the Indian farmers!