Nuh: Lakhs of tractors to counter VHP shobhayatra, warn 36 farmers' groups
A farmers' mahapanchyat in Alwar declared they would come out on the streets in protest if the Haryana govt allows the right wing-organised yatra in Mewat
Farmers' groups and other communities from Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan declared their intent to take out lakhs of tractors into the streets if the Haryana government allows the VHP yatra on 28 August, reported the Times of India on 27 August.
Representative of the 36 groups and communities met yesterday, 26 August, in a mahapanchayat called in Alwar, Rajasthan, the report said.
Speakers at the panchayat assembly said Mewat district (now called Nuh), home to the Meo Muslim community—making it Haryana's only Muslim-majority area—had always been a peaceful region, and it took the intervention of "anti-social elements" to bring about the riots of July 31.
Those riots spread to other cities in Haryana, took five lives and injured at least 80; led to right-wing demonstrations across the Delhi NCR and further afield in northern India by the Vishva Hindu Parishad and its militant arm the Bajrang Dal; saw a mosque set ablaze; and escalated into a bulldozer demolition drive by the state government that seemed to preferentially target the residences, businesses and properties of Muslim citizens—until the courts stepped in.
Also Read: Nuh: the conspiracy—A probe recommended
To be fair to the state government, permission for the proposed VHP yatra on August 28 had been denied last week. However, the VHP yesterday declared they would go ahead, that "permission was not required".
The TOI reports that prominent farmers' leader Rakesh Tikait told the kisan bhaichara (farming fraternity) assembled by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, "If the Haryana government gives permission to take out the yatra in Nuh on August 28, then we will take out a tractor rally."
As spokesperson for the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Tikait continued in his criticism of the government's inaction:
The policy of the leader is to entrap people into fights and rule over them. Educate your children... Don't send them to riots. We all are Hindus. But there are two types of Hindus — ones who operate from Nagpur and the others who are proud Indians and don't engage in violence.Rakesh Tikait, national spokesperson, Bharatiya Kisan Union
Nagpur is the headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the mothership of the VHP and the Bajrang Dal. Tikait's statement is therefore a clear nod to the BJP-ruled state government in Haryana, as well as the Narendra Modi-led central government.
President of the Rajasthan Jat Mahasabha Rajaram Meel said that the farmers' protest would be a peaceful one:
We detest violence, and you will see lakhs of tractors on the streets if anybody tries to instigate the same in Nuh-Mewat.Rajaram Meel, president, Rajasthan Jat Mahasabha
A key presence at the mahapanchayat was Satyapal Malik, the TOI noted. The former governor of Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Goa and Meghalaya who has in recent years been vociferous in criticism of his former BJP party colleagues' government policies.
Other discussions of the kisan bhaichara revolved around the "arbitrary" land acquisitions for the Delhi–Mumbai Industrial Corridor, which prominent members of the farming communities see as being against agricultural interests; the Eastern Rajasthan Canal project which the farmers hope will bring relief from irrigation issues, by interlinking the Parvati, Chambal and Kali Sindh rivers; and the demand for a minimum support price from the government to protect the interests of farmers.
Published: 27 Aug 2023, 10:49 AM