With Punjab leading the farmers’ struggle, the Sikhs got restored their aura of being brave and courageous earned by 18th century Sikh warriors, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and later by Gadari Babe who had shown the path of freedom to Indian masses a century ago.
Just after attaining Independence, the cunning Indian rulers switched on a majority-based ‘nation-building’ project. In the process of that, the Sikh minority was subjected to isolation, religious-cultural humiliation, and physical sufferings of the worst order, particularly during the 1980s.
Ongoing peaceful protests at the Delhi borders reminds the days of the Gurdwara Reforms Movement of the 1920s when the Sikh volunteers had silently suffered lathi-blows and ruthless repression of the British police and never resorted to violence. Even the much-acclaimed non-violence movement of Mahatma Gandhi was no match to the five-year-long peaceful struggle launched to oust the British supported Mahants from Sikh shrines.
The farmers’ struggle turning into a people’s uprising has got itself infused with a moral surge brushing aside individual, cultural and spiritual decay that modernity thrusts upon the human beings. Its humanly regenerative impact has been acclaimed and acknowledged the world over. And the Modi regime has failed to put up a matching narrative to the farmers’ truthful and spirited assertions and therefore, all official tactics and theatrical rants have been rendered ineffective.
On succeeding to get the Farm Acts scrapped and MSP legalized the Indian farmers would be the first in the world to defeat the economic and political onslaught of the corporate that has already captured the farm sectors of the USA, Canada, and other advanced countries. By enacting Farm Acts the Modi government is only pushing through the global neo-liberal agenda at the bidding of global imperialism, a complex politico-economic phenomenon. The Ambanis-Adanis are the representatives of that global neo-liberal order.
So it is the sacred duty of all supporters not to do anything that could turn the peaceful struggle into a violent one and give the opportunity to the government to use the force to break it.
Unfortunately, some NRIs are inciting the youth to undertake some extremist measures like unfurling the Kesri flag at Red Fort and doing away with “sluggish” protests. Some are spreading around that the mainstream political parties have become discredited and farmers’ leaders have no intention to participate in electoral politics, it leaves a political vacuum in Punjab.
And they surmise that today is the favorable time for floating a party to capture power. Such infantile understanding already drove the Sikhs into a blind alley giving the opportunity to power-seeker politicians to rule Punjab on New Delhi’s agenda for three decades.
When people are engaged in the ‘do and die’ battle such suggestions are unethical to be described as ‘fishing in the troubled water’. Also, some NRIs have announced ‘supari money’ for committing an extremist act that amounts to treating local Sikhs as ‘mercenaries’ in violation of Sikhism.
The need of the hour is to think out of the box as the farmers’ fight stands to throw the prevailing politics to a different plane. It will be a great support if the people from abroad help running langar and supply of essentials for enduring wintery chills. And avoid creating unnecessary problems for leaders of the farm movement.
A joint statement by Jaspal Singh Sidhu, journalist. Prof Manjit Singh, Ajaypal Singh, author, Gurbachan Singh, editor Des Punjab and Khushhal Singh, general secretary Kendri Singh Sabha.