The cultivation of unrest and protest to suit petty political needs has become hallmark of a fragmented opposition in the country. While the comrades, facing political extinction, have attacked army’s way dealing with Kashmir situation, the grand old party has chosen to reap harvest off the farmers. Number of poor farmers are more in states like Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal but protests are happening in BJP ruled states. It cannot be dismissed as poor handling of farmer issues by state governments in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. There is a well construed ploy to destabilize governments in these states. Similar scripted events may spill over to other BJP ruled states as well if nefarious designs of forces behind these protests are not unmasked.
There is a clear pattern in the way these protests have been triggered in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. While Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was quick in sensing trouble and got the matter sorted. His decision of waiving farm loans, though not an economically prudent move, has put the trouble at bay. Most of farm loans in Maharashtra were through co-operative banks with NCP interests written all over them. It was all about power tussle as hegemony of NCP and Congress in rural economy was challenged by Fadnavis government.Waiving off farm loans not only sets a bad precedence of fiscal indiscipline, it leaves a window open for future waivers as well. Farmers would look forward to waivers during election time. Waivers are a vicious cycle and governments need to find out a way to break it. It presents a fertile ground for political parties to exploit farmer issues and press for waiver. Economically, it’s suicidal. This model cannot go on.
As far as protests in Madhya Pradesh are concerned, the groundwork for trouble started as early as June 1st. Congress Working Committee meeting which concluded recently has set the stage for coronation of Rahul Gandhi as party president. Congress needed some fanfare for elevation of “Dud of Dynasty” and spectacle of farmers protesting and mayhem could just be the much needed thrust for Prince Clown to get some photo op done. BJP leaders have alleged that congress leaders are behind instigation of farmer protests. There cannot be a smoke without fire. What kind of farmers go on rampage burning vehicles and destroying property?
The plotting of Saharanpur riots, UP, too, proved to be a scripted event. Caste based riots in Saharanpur were unleashed to give a platform to Mayawati’s brother. His connections with BHIM army and Chandrashekhar are out for everyone to see. There is a concerted effort to create disturbance so that political brownie points can be scored. With the opposition in disarray, issues have been manufactured and troubles fomented to thwart development. To their dismay, Yogi government efforts towards development have started paying off. Samsung has committed to investments to the tune of Rs 50,000 crores in Uttar Pradesh.
The mainstream media has been selective in covering plight of farmers in other states. There is very miniuscule coverage of plight of drought hit farmers in Karnataka who got a raw deal in Karnataka state budget. Punjab government is yet to submit its report on loan waiver. Media is conveniently not reporting this aspect. This imbalance in reporting is happening because the agenda has already been set for 2019. The crooks in media have been given a free run. They are playing to the galleries. Be it cow vigilantism or beef, the rhetoric will rise to deafening levels. Events are already being organized to exploit victim hood. Iftar party was organized for families of Najeeb, Akhlaq and Pehlu Khan by Student Islamic Organization of India but they missed out the family of Muslim BJP worker who was lynched in Karnataka.
Secular organizations have pushed the polarization button. The dangerous game has just begun.
Picture Credit:Free Press Journal Screenshots from Twitter