Farm agitation fertile ground for creative slogans
Sangrur To express political and ideological differences with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government on farm bills that Parliament passed, despite protests from farmers and strong resistance from a number of MPs, opposition parties and farmer outfits in Punjab have coined slogans.
‘Corporate Bhajao, Kisan Bachao’, ‘Stop Killing Farmers’ and ‘Pind Pind Chon Aai Awaz, Kisan Ghol Zindabad (A voice is resonating every village, long live farmers’ agitation)’ are some of the slogans that farm unions are using to highlight their struggle. They are trying to show the power of the masses by romanticising resistance.
“The previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government started anti-farmer policies and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) followed on its path. Multinational companies see India as a big market and are trying to capture it. We will not allow the government to hand over our land to the corporate sector,” said Jagmohan Singh, general secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) (Ekta-Dakaunda).
The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are terming Prime Minister Narendra Modi as anti-farmer. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which once backed the NDA government on the issue, but opposed the ordinances in both Houses of Parliament, is inviting people to join the ‘Chakka Jam’ on September 25.
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal has coined the slogan, ‘Ikko Naara Kisan Pyara’ assuring farmers that his party stands by them.
“Farmers are SAD’s priority, along with other sections. Our slogan shows the party’s commitment to the farming community. Such slogans emerge from agitations and we will stand by farmers,” said SAD senior vice-president, Daljit Singh Cheema.
AAP has been targeting the BJP, SAD, and Congress with its slogan ‘Badal-Captain-Modi, Tino Kisan Virodhi’. It is also calling upon the public to burn the effigy of Modi on September 24.
“Modi introduced three ordinances and SAD extended its support. The Punjab government was aware about these anti-farmer bills, but did not oppose the ordinances at the high-powered committee on agriculture. If the SAD and the Congress had opposed the move three months ago, these ordinances could not have taken the shape of bills,” said Aman Arora, AAP Sunam MLA.
The ruling Congress party in Punjab has been attacking the Centre, while targeting the PM with the slogan ‘Kisan Virodhi Narendra Modi’.
“Rising above party lines, all Punjabis should oppose these bills. The Punjab CM has already decided to move court, but we will also hold demonstrations,” said Dalvir Singh Goldy, Congress Dhuri MLA.