Cautious of their struggle being hijacked post the January 26 violence in Delhi, farmers from Punjab feel that hardliners should not try to push their ideology through the fight against Centre’s controversial farm laws. They said that such elements have only ended up strengthening the government’s hands and bringing a bad name to a legitimate fight.
Dasuya (Hoshiarpur) farmer Lakhbir Singh, who is a regular visitor to the Singhu Border protest site, said that separatist or Khalistani elements should stay away from the movement.
“If they are really well-wishers of the protesting farmers they should stop giving statements as per their own ideologies. The government is trying to find one or other loophole since day one in our movement and such wrong statements by these separatists would be linked with our pious farm movement by the government,” he said.
Another farmer, Rajinder Singh Thakur, who has been to the protest site several times, said that the movement is completely of farmers and the ones sitting at protest sites are poor farmers. “If any selfish people, who have their own agenda, are trying to take advantage of this movement then they should forget about it and stay away. That would be a real support from them,” he said.
Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, general secretary of Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) Ugrahan, said: “For the past 77 days ever since the farmers have started their protest at Delhi border, the centre government has every excuse to make this protest fail. They called this move backed by Khalstanis, Naksalis and now saying that there is some pro-Khalistani organisation behind the social media support for this movement. Government has adopted all tactics to defeat this movement but we do not mind if anybody irrespective of their ideology is expressing their solidarity with our move as this is the democratic right of every one. Only thing which matters to us is that such support should be limited to the things related to farm movement. If anyone is trying to fulfil their wishes through this move then they should know that it is a farmers’ movement and their hidden agendas cannot be fulfilled here.”
He further said: “After seeing the unity of the farmers across the country now if someone is saying that the platform of the farmers can be used to fulfil their dreams this also exposes the motive behind their support to this movement. Farm organisations have nothing to do with such people. In fact, such groups are helping the government’s agenda.”
Satnam Singh Sahni, general secretary of BKU (Doaba), said: “Such separatists could be the stooges of the government to damage the farm movement but everyone knows that such people have their own hidden agendas and their support is also not without any reason. But farmers have nothing to do with them and if they think they are actually supporting our movement then their distance from our movement including on social media would be a great help to our struggle as this will give no reason to the government for unnecessarily targeting us.”
Another farmer leader, Kulwinder Singh of Kirti Kisan Union, added: “Government may say anything and may link our movement with anyone but we know that it is only farmers’ fight and now it is not only a movement of Punjab farmers, but of farmers across the country. Statements by separatists cannot hurt our movement as they are exposing themselves. They are rather damaging themselves by using our names and the same is the case of government which has so far failed to prove any link between us and the separatists.”