Farmers’ protest: For whom are the barricades and blockades at Delhi borders?

Those shots of the barricades and blockades on the Delhi borders relay the extent to which the State can go to put up an authoritarian front

Farmers’ protest: For whom are the barricades and blockades at Delhi borders?
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Humra Quraishi

I wish I was a poet! Then I could have unleashed my anguish and anger in verse. Alas, I’m not a poet. Just a writer, witnessing the traumatic build-ups, just a helpless spectator to the disasters unfolding.

There seems no end to the plight of the farmers. Provoking one to quip: are we living in the Raj days where our very own people have been kept cut off, as though near forbidden from entering the capital city of their very own country!

Those shots of the barricades and blockades on the Delhi borders relay the extent to which the State can go, to put up an authoritarian front. it seems bizarre that instead of holding talks with the farmers, here we go and put a stop to the basics needed for their survival -- water, connectivity, electricity, transportation, food. Stoppage or halt of everything save the air, which anyway is poisonous and polluted!

In this atmosphere even the fence-sitters are no longer sitting atop those fences. They are trying to jump off, extremely worried and apprehensive that their turn to be targeted is sure to come by. After all, there’s no lessening of individuals and communities getting targeted by the fascist forces.

At first ‘they’ came for the Muslims, then for the Dalits and the Tribal and Adivasi. And then came the turn of the liberals, and all those students, activists and academics who raised their voice. Even the earnest journalists and writers were not spared who did not go by the sarkari press handouts and briefings; after all, these upright journalists didn’t want to be part and parcel of the godi media! Now, of course, the latest to be targeted are the hapless farmers! The farmers who feed us, day after day, is being treated in this inhuman manner!


On Khushwant Singh’s 106th birthday anniversary -- born in 1915, he celebrated two birthdays - February 2 and August 15 …

Though one can write a full-fledged volume on Khushwant but here, let me just leave you with his quote, where he talks of his worries, “Today, my only worry is the rise in Right -wing fascist forces in the country …the young , the present generation should be aware of the rise in communal politics and the dangers involved.” In an interview given to me shortly after his book ‘The End if India' was published in the spring of 2003, he had said, “If we love our country we have to save it from communal forces. And though the liberal class is shrinking , I do hope that the present generation rejects the communal and fascist policies.”

Leaving you with a verse of the great poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz. His birthday falls on February 13. These lines by him are apt for the imprisoned, officially and un-officially-

“LOVE’S PRISONERS

Wearing the hangman’s noose, like a necklace,

The singers kept on singing day and night,

kept jingling the ankle- bells of their fetters

and the dancers jigged on riotously.

We who were neither in this camp nor that

just stood watching them enviously.

shedding silent tears.

Returning, we saw that the crimson

of flowers had turned pale

and on probing within, it seemed

that where the heart once was

now lingered only stabbing pain.

Around our necks the hallucination of a noose

And on our feet the dance of fetters.”

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