Last battle of my life, prepared for long haul, says farm leader Jagmohan Patiala
2020 was the year which exposed the Modi government by drawing a battle line between farmers and the government, said the farmers’ leader who has just recovered from COVID-19
As the farm protest enters 30th day at Singhu border near Delhi, farmers – who stayed put against the Modi government over three contentious farm laws amid biting chill – are in no mood to retreat.
Even the outbreak of COVID-19 could not deter them. Instead, their resolve to fight the ‘anti-farmers’ and ‘government of liars’ strengthened with each passing day over the last 30 days.
Jagmohan Singh Patiala – one of the prominent farm leaders who organised the protest and shaped its ideological stance said no matter how much time it takes, farmers will not retreat until newly enacted laws are annulled.
Patiala laughed when he was reminded that the protest has completed one month, but farmers have not gotten anything other than hollow promises and proposals for talks.
“Should not the farm leaders change their strategy?”
“Ours strategy is to get the farm laws repealed. It may take six months but I have come prepared,” said Patiala who is also state general secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU- Dakaunda).
64-years old Patiala who is a trained acupuncturist said, “This is the last battle of my life. I have to win it for the generations to come.”
Patiala has recently recovered from the Covid-19.
“I do not fear death,” said Patiala who has also worked in the cooperative department of the Punjab government.
Though Patiala got infected with the deadly virus sometime around the second week of December, he did not leave the battlefield. On doctors’ advice he isolated himself yet kept updating himself and helped others in chalking out the strategy to carry forward the movement.
On the government's fresh proposal, Patiala said the Modi government has appointed some clerks, draftsmen to prepare proposals.
“They add some vague clause or delete some paras from the old letters and send it as the new one. Then release it to the media, showing as if the Modi government is very serious about resolving the issue.”
“We know their tactics. That is why, farmers have categorically rejected their proposals. Nothing less than annulment (of three farm laws) would be accepted to us,” reiterated Patiala.
Patiala took a jibe at Modi saying that the prime minister is the biggest liar of the country.
“I have seen many politicians…No one lied in the manner and degree as Modi does. He said the farmers’ income will double by 2022 but he passed such laws that will make us poorer,” said Patiala who is credited for bringing together a large number of groups in the factionalized world of farmer organizations on one single issue.
Hoping that the new year will bring a new dawn in the history of the peasant movements of India, Patiala said, “2020 was the year which exposed the real face of the Modi government by drawing the battle lines between the farmers and government, 2021 will bring the victory.”
Published: 26 Dec 2020, 6:30 PM