• Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Interview What connects the wrestlers’ protest with the farmers’ struggle of 2021?

Both demonstrations began as “peaceful, non-violent demonstrations” for “specifically sensible and just demands”.

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<p>Both protests started "Peaceful, non-violent protests" for "Eminently intelligent and fair claims."</p>
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Both demonstrations began as “peaceful, non-violent demonstrations” for “specifically sensible and just demands”.

(Photo: Vibhushita Singh/ The Quint)

Video Editor: Compassion is mixed

Almost two years ago, in December 2021, protests by thousands of Indian farmers culminated in a year-long struggle, after the Narendra Modi government conceded to their demands and rolled back controversial agrarian reforms. Harsh weather, a full-blown epidemic – nothing crushed their spirit to continue their fight for justice.

Fast forward to May 2023, wrestlers representing the country at the global forum were beaten and detained from the Jantar Mantar protest site in New Delhi demanding the arrest of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP and wrestling federation chief Brij Bhushan. Several female wrestlers have accused Sharan Singh of sexual harassment.

As farmers extend their overwhelming support to the wrestling community during this crisis and amid speculation that the wrestlers’ protest has reached an end, Quint’s chat with Dr Ashok Dhawal, former president of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) provides an insightful account of how both protests are an organic link. shares and how both farmers and wrestlers are at the receiving end of government indifference and favoritism.

How the Wrestlers’ Protest Became a National Movement

Several parallels can be drawn between the nature of farmers’ and wrestlers’ protests and their impact on citizens, says Dhawale. First, both protests began as “peaceful, non-violent demonstrations” for “specifically sensible and just demands”. Second, both received widespread support from a large section of society, such as trade unions, women’s organizations and student youth organizations.

However, the most important link is how the government extended its protection to Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, similarly to Union Home Minister Ajay Mishra Teni, in the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence that killed four farmers and a journalist.

Witness this treatment of Olympic medalists like Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and others, who the whole country admires for their grit, courage and determination — the way they were pushed, thrown around and trigger-happy police over an entire “democracy”. Attack” and something the nation will remember, Dhwal emphasized.

The agricultural background of the wrestlers attracted the sympathy of the farmers

Many of these protest wrestlers have parents who are farmers or agricultural labourers. India and other countries, a farmer (farmer) considered similar to a soldier (soldier). A struggling class background probably bound the peasants naturally to the wrestlers, who saw the latter as their own children and felt strongly for their plight.

Hat communities limit gender bias to support wrestlers

people from fit And panchayats, which are primarily caste bodies, may not have prioritized gender equality in the past but many in the community have put aside their differences and come out in support of the wrestlers and their fight for justice. Incidentally, a large number of women in this community supported the peasants even during the days of struggle. Dhawale said this is the bedrock of secularism and the true reflection of a democratic nation.

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