New Delhi: Farmers shout slogans at Singhu border during their 'Delhi Chalo' protest march against the Centre's new farm laws, in New Delhi, in New Delhi, Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. (PTI Photo/Ravi Choudhary)
New Delhi, December 11 (IANS): Is it farmers' unions' movement or vested interests? This is the burning question haunting the country as the farmers' unions are raising issues which do not even concern the farm laws.
The agitations are also being politicised by the Left wing groups to demand the release of people who have been arrested for inciting anti-national activities across India.
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) is the largest faction of the Bhartiya Kisan Union and almost two-thirds of the protesters gathered at Delhi's borders are its members.
The BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) is now raising its voice for the unconditional release of the so called writers, intellectuals and poets, including Telugu poet and activist Varavara, who was arrested in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon Elgar Parishad case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Rao was first arrested in 1973 by the Andhra Pradesh government under the then Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) on charges of fuelling violence with his writings. In 2005, Rao acted as an emissary for the People's War Group to broker peace between the state government and the Maoist organisation. Following the breakdown of the talks, Rao was again arrested under the Public Security Act (PSA).
The contradictions are stark. The BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) has changed its demands in a span of one month. On October 14, it only demanded that the farm laws be repealed. However, on November 14, the outfit changed its demand of just repealing of three farm laws and added another demand to withdraw all cases against the farmer leaders all over India, intellectuals, poets, lawyers, writers and human and democratic rights activists. It now wants those who have been jailed in false cases should be released.
Are the farmers' protests being hijacked by the anti-national agenda?
A photo of the agitation published by a leading newspaper shows that the agitators are also raising demands for the release of those who have been arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act such as Sharjeel Imam and Umar Khaled, among others.
Lawyer and coordinator of BKU, N.K. Jeet had said on December 10, "It is our conscious decision to support these accused. The Naxal movement was always a farmers' movement all over India. Releasing these accused is a demand of the BKU. We made it part of the memorandum to the government related to the farm laws."
He also said, "Naxalism has helped the tribal people claim their rights."
The People's Democratic Front of India (PDFI) is also involved as Darshan Pal, President of the Krantikari Kisan Union, is the founding member of PDFI. The other members include Varavara Rao, Kalyan Rao, Medha Patkar, Nandita Haksar, S.A.R. Geelani and B.D. Sarma.
Former Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs in the UPA government, R.P.N. Singh, had answered an unstarred question in the Lok Sabha in which he had declared the PDFI as an active front organisation of the CPI-M. The PDFI is a part of the Maoist movement which is fuelling Left wing terrorism in the country.