Clash between security forces and farmers- What does it mean to India?
Updated: May 18, 2021
Joining of opposition parties to win the next elections- One of the fears that loom ahead is that a security crackdown on the protesting farmers would serve to galvanize mass social anger within the working class and escape the control of the bourgeois opposition parties and trade unions. What happened on Jan 26th, did lead to more than 250+ protestors being arrested. Some were immediately released, leading the number to between 100 and 150. Bails have been done by the Sikh NGO bodies lead by the KSM and also other NGOs and independent samaritans. The leadership is provided by the KSM to handle all legal cases. Those bailed have joined the ranks of the serving protestors. This may also lead to a divide of joining the states together against the BJP this posing a serious challenge to the BJP party in the elections next year.
Loosing its Democratic Image – A US-based non-profit organization Freedom House funded by the US government and conducts research into democracy and political freedom has in their World report downgraded India’s status from a ‘Free’ country to a ‘Partly Free’ country. It has also given a ‘global freedom score’ of 67/100 after judging it on various political rights and civil liberties. The report noted a “multiyear pattern” to “rising violence and discriminatory policies affecting the Muslim population” and “crackdown on expressions of dissent by the media, academics, civil society groups, and protesters” under the current BJP government lead by Narendra Modi.
Damaging Modi’s carefully cultivated image as a Statesman-
Rise of Secessionism and Rebellion- Through the Eighties and Nineties, there were secessionist movements in Kashmir and Punjab and in states on the northeastern border. When Modi took over the biggest and serious secessionist threat was in the former state of Jammu & Kashmir. This is why the abrogation of Article 370, with near unanimity in Parliament, had popular support. It had support in Ladakh and Jammu and perhaps even in the Kashmir Valley where ordinary people have suffered too long because of those who have been fighting violently for ‘azadi’ (freedom). The rise in fervor can activate the movement to free Punjab. The shifting Interstate politics in South Asia is opening the possibility of new dynamics of cross-border spillover, proxy warfare, and state sponsorship of armed groups. instability in and political exclusion from regimes can foster rebellions, even after long periods of apparent stability.
Mobs and Vigilantism- Forms of violence—especially mobs and vigilantism—are on the rise that is dangerous in their own right and that can prove difficult to control even by colluding state and political party forces.
Modi should seriously reconsider his stance on the farmer’s laws. As my mother would say, “On the horns of a dilemma”, may not be one of the best battle-ground choices to make. So India should wake-up, smell the coffee and either repeal the laws or its citizenry will have to bear the loss of secessionism and a possible break-up of India.
Vikram Singh, Toronto