Boiling pot: Delhi police ask to imprison farmers in stadiums
Sir — It was heartening that the Delhi government refused to grant permission to the police to turn nine of the city’s stadiums into temporary detention centres for the agitating farmers from Punjab and Haryana who are protesting against the three contentious agricultural bills passed by the Union government in September. According to the farmers, the new laws would make them vulnerable to exploitation by big corporations and weaken the government’s procurement system, as part of which the government buys staples, such as wheat and rice, from them at minimum support prices.
The farmers are protesting for their rights. A peaceful public uprising is their constitutional right. Then why are farmers, sons of the Indian soil, being attacked? Why are their voices being suppressed? The Central Government must give farmers a chance to air their demands as well as really pay attention to their grievances.
Sir — It beats reason that the police force in a democratic country can ask an elected government to use stadiums to capture citizens who are peacefully protesting in their own country. It is a small mercy that the Delhi government refused to grant the police the permission to do so. Given its recent decisions regarding Shaheen Bagh and other protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act one was almost afraid that permission would be granted.
Farmers’ discontent has been growing in recent years — the careless economic policies of the Narendra Modi regime have debilitated the fragile rural economy. Farmers have experienced a growing mismatch between their production efforts and incomes under the present government. Climate change and its outcomes have not helped the farmers’ cause. The farm bills were almost like the last nails in the coffin. The farmers are thus right to be agitated. The State can suppress the farmers with an iron hand, but it cannot root out the discontent that is brewing in the hearts and minds of farm folk across the country.
Sir — The Delhi police deserves to be severely reprimanded for its actions. It seems to have forgotten its role is to protect the people.
Sir — While the world debates how much truth there is to The Crown’s portrayal of the Charles and Diana relationship, as an Indian I cannot help but notice the series’s whitewash of the royal family’s gruesome colonial past and rampant racism. The blinkered valorization of Winston Churchill and Lord Mountbatten is an affront to their colonial legacy. These are more serious omissions than the amount of truth in its depiction of the royal family.