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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/26/21

May 26 observed as 'Black Day' marking six months of Indian farmers' protest

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Congress, AAP & Other Opposition Parties Support Pan India Farmers Protest Against Farm Laws Farm Laws Faceoff: 12 opposition parties have now extended their support to the farmers' protest which has been planned for 26 May to mark 6 months of their ...
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To mark six months of their protests at the Delhi borders against the three controversial farm laws, the the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of over 40 farmers' unions, will observe Wednesday May 26 as "black day".

Tellingly, extreme right-wing Prime Minister Narendra Modi had first taken oath as the prime minister on May 26, 2014 when RSS-backed BJP swept the poll on Hidutva slogan.

Joining the call of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the central trade unions said in a statement, "The call to observe that day as a 'Black Day' is because the Modi government that has been in office continuously for the past seven years has not only failed to deliver on the tall promises made while assuming office, but is actually acting against the wishes of the toiling people with impunity."

"It has simply disowned its responsibility in tackling the Corona pandemic and asked the states to provide medical help to the bewildered population: shortages of vaccine doses, oxygen, hospital beds, even cremation facilities are alarming, with irresponsible announcements of vaccinating the 18-44 age group, only to be withdrawn subsequently, shows that the government is completely in the dark about what needs to be done in this hour of grave crisis," it added.

The unions said that the government has used the pandemic to "to push through legislations that are tailored only for the benefit of the corporates, be it the three farm laws or the four labour Codes or privatisation of everything in the government or public sector."

They said that the government should mobilise resources for the migrant workers, unemployed and frontline workers to save them from further penury and vulnerability.

"While the government has no funds to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, it is shamelessly going ahead with the "Central Vista Project", costing Rs 20,000 crore, supposedly to rebuild a new parliament building, floating non-transparent funds such as PM-CARES, electoral bonds, while in practice behaving in the most undemocratic way," the central trade unions' statement said.

As a measure of solidarity, the central trade unions also said that it will ask their supporters to put up black flags in their houses and vehicles.

Protest with black flags

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) will observe 'Black Day' on Wednesday (May 26) to protest against the government for not taking back three new farm laws, its leader Rakesh Tikait said on Tuesday. He said people can protest by putting black flags outside their homes.

"On May 26, the farmers sitting on the agitation will observe the Black Day. Farmers protesting on borders will hold black flags against the government, wear them on hands and put them on vehicles. The farmers will protest at the site. The protest is supported by the opposition parties," said farmers union spokesman Dharmendra Malik.

BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said that they will burn the effigy of the government while people can protest by putting black flags outside their homes, on their vehicles. "Is putting a black flag a crime? We are upset with somebody and we are using it as a sign (of protest)," he told ANI.

According to the BKU leader, the protests will start around 9-10 am and will continue till 12 noon. Tikait said the farmers have been protesting for the past six months but the government has "not taken back its black laws".

He informed that they have written a letter to the Centre about their concerns. "We wrote a letter stating that if the government wants to talk, we are ready, since they said used to say 'we are a phone call away'. We wrote a letter as it can be documented," he said.

"If the government can bring in laws during the pandemic, it can surely revoke them also. We are not going anywhere, we will stay here. We have a lot of time," said Rakesh Tikait.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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