This refers to a column titled “The Long March: Indian Version” dated 13 December 2020 in The New Indian Express. The column started with “Something India has never seen before is happening now. Tens of thousands of farmers are on the march”. Has the columnist forgotten the late Mahendra Singh Tikait seize of Boat Club lawn from Vijay Chowk to India Gate with five lakh farmers in 1988? Then, how it is never seen? Was 92 years columnist born after 1988? Please work out either to get the math correct or get to know the columnist vested interest.
As the columnist continues and I quote “Remarkably, there is no political party behind them, nor any identifiable leader”, I have to remind him about the visit of Aam Aadmi Party Supreme-cum-Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to rally site a few days back. Apart from the Delhi CM example, I quote here what the columnist himself writes in his column that ‘Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau threw diplomatic convention to the winds and expressed support to the farmers’. Now I asked the columnist “Are Kejriwal presence in the rally site and Canada PM’s support not ‘there is no political party behind them’?” Again, what Yogendra Yadav, President of Swaraj India Party is doing in the rally site on daily basis? Is Yadav not an ‘any identifiable leader’? This man is present from Anna-IAC to JNU tukde-tukde agitation to CAA-Shahenbagh to now farmer agitations in New Delhi. If ‘there is no political party behind them’, how could columnist writes and I quote from his last para “more than a dozen political parties supported the call for Bharat Bandh last Tuesday”? And Indians know how far the Bharat Bandh was successful.
While dealing with Canada PM in his column, the columnist writes and I quote “Canada cabinet has Sikhs in his cabinet”, but he did not elaborate. Why? My answer to this question is: the columnist knows that Justin Trudeau has been forced by vested interest and vote bank to ‘threw diplomatic convention to the winds and expressed support to the farmers’. But, the vested interest of the eminent columnist prevented him to write this fact. The Sikh cabinet ministers in Justin government are Khalistani supporters.
In the third paragraph, he writes ‘there is no one in the Government who can even discuss matters with them(farmers)’. If this is the fact then what are there in the content of The New Indian Express reports titles (1) “Round five ends in stalemate, next meeting on Wednesday”dt.06.12.2020, (2) “Shah intervention fails to end deadlock” dt.09.12.2020, (3) “Unions reject govt offer, announce scale up stir’ dt.10.12.2020, and (4) “Prepared for talks, says govt amidst the waiting game” dt.11.12.2020? Again, if there is no one in the Government who can discuss the matter with farmers, then from where the columnist got to write in the last paragraph “All efforts by Amit (I’m-always-right) Shah to make peace with marchers failed”?
He writes “For long years, India’s farmers have been suffering silently. The extent of suffering during those years is not easy to believe. About three lakh farmers committed suicide in India since 1995. In Maharashtra alone, in just one year 2019, there were 60,000 farmer suicides”. From where the great columnist got the figure 60,000 suicides, my sincere and serious search did not so far have it. My search got as many as 14,591 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra between October 2014 and August 2019.
Will the columnist tell how much space is required to accommodate “96,000 tractors and 12 million people”, he writes, have gathered at Delhi border? Again, he is silent about presence of Khalistanis in demonstrations held in favour of farmers agitation in abroad.
The eminent journalist has not proved “Modi is more gas than substance” though he uses to write because he is a privileged columnist. But, this rejoinder proves the column “The Long March: Indian Version” is ‘more gas than substance’. The column is packed with lies than journalism.