Syed Khalique Ahmed | India Tomorrow
NEW DELHI—There are no takers for the government claim that Khalistan supporters have infiltrated the farmers’ protest against the three controversial farm laws. The allegations were made by Attorney General (AG) K K Venugopal before the Supreme Court on January 12. Earlier, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had told the same thing to media.
But the claim of the government has been dubbed as rubbish by farmers and their leaders. Sanjiv Kumar Kadian, a farmer hailing from Meerut district of Western UP and protesting at Ghazipur border under the banner of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Tikait), said that that “the issue of Khalistan was being linked with the farmers agitation to vilify the farmers and weaken the agitation”.
“This is all non-sense. The government is trying to mislead the farmers by communalizing the issue and divert attention of the people from real issues. But farmers understand it. Farmers are now educated and aware of everything. There are no Khalistanis among the protesting farmers”, says Kadian.
A 70-year-old farmer identifying himself as Kishan Singh from Mathura district also rubbishes the claim that Khalistanis have entered the farm protest. “This is nothing but a bid of the government to divide the farmers and kill the anti-government protest over the farm bills. But this is an old tactics of the BJP to dub their opponents as Pakistanis, Khalistani, Maoists, urban naxals. But villagers have understood the game of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and they would not buy his arguments. A farmer is farmer no matter what is his faith”, said Kishan Singh.
Singh said that the government is simply trying to create a rift between Sikh and Hindu farmers with a view to weaning over the Hindu farmers. “But we will not allow this happen”, said the septuagenarian farmer. He said that Modi came to power in 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections by raising Hindu-Muslim issues and farmers were misled to vote for his party candidates. He said that this was going to happen again.
Sher Singh, a Sikh farmer from Shahjahanpur in UP and camping at Ghazipur protest site, said, “If there are Khalistani elements in the agitation, the government should identify them and put them behind bars. Why is the government sitting silent? And why were they waiting for so long when they knew the presence of Khalistanis. It is all bullshit. Everybody knows the purpose of this falsehood being spread by BJP and their leaders. They are even trying to mislead the court”.
“Farmers of all religions are in the `andolan’(agitation). The Government is using the Khalistani slogan to defame and defeat the movement but it will not succeed”, says Sher Singh.
“Modi and BJP first divided the society by raising Hindu-Muslims issues in 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections and assembly elections in different states. Now, Modi has united the communities by passing three Farm Bills because farmers of all communities are against the Bill and unitedly protesting against it all over the country”, said the young Sikh farmer.
Lakhbir Singh Pinder from Moga district in Punjab, protesting at Tikri border in Haryana, dismissed the government claim of Khalistani elements in agitation as “a bid to defame the ‘andolan’ and suppress it by force”. He said that this shows to what level the BJP leaders can stoop down to achieve their aims. “If there is any Khalistani here, let the police come and arrest him”, he said.
Stating that the talk of “Khalistan elements having infiltrated into the farm agitation” is non-sense and aimed at “dividing the farm community which has united and challenged the might of the Modi government”, Surinder Dalal from Chidi village in Rohtak, said, “Farmers and villagers are educated. No one can mislead them. It has become a fashion for BJP leaders to call everybody anti-national, Khalistani, Pakistani or Maoists if he opposes their policies and programmes. They are simply following the policy of divide and rule but farmers understand it and that is why BJP leaders have failed in their designs”.
“If Khalistanis are camping at Delhi borders, it proves Modi as PM has failed. He is incompetent. He can’t run the government. He must resign”, says Dalal.
Mandip Malik, representing BKU (Mange Ram faction), on Khalistan elements in the agitation, says that it is their old tactics to divide people. They are using the word Khalistan for Sikh farmers to create a divide among farmers so that the movement against three farm bills fails. Everybody is familiar with BJP’s politics and nobody now believes them. “Modi came to power through communalization of society and support of corporates but these tactics will not help them any more. They will have to repeal the bill. There is no other option”.