Haryana Farmers Hold Peace Meetings
Efforts for harmony and amity
Haryana, a state that is largely agrarian, is the new theatre of hate for the majoritarian right wing though not for the first time. What has happened in Nuh over the last few days cannot be seen in a compartmentalised manner. It should be observed through the layers of socio-political prism, and the farming community understands these layers better than anyone.
The rural populace is aware about the ongoing attempts that are on to divide the people. They also interpret this division as a tool to achieve the goal to rule.
The people are linking the developments in Nuh to various similar moves across the country, and more importantly to the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls in 2024. The general election will be shortly followed by the Haryana Assembly election.
It is being pointed out that Nuh is the only area in the entire state that has a substantial Muslim population and the minority votes in other parts of the state is negligible. Majority of the approximately eight per cent Muslim population of the state lives in Nuh district.
They are in sizable numbers in some parts of Palwal and Chhachhrauli area of Yamunanagar.
But more importantly there is another dimension to the processes unleashed that is being referred to with much more concern. Stating that the perpetrators of violence have largely failed to achieve their goals to achieve communal polarisation in Nuh, those with an ear to the ground are raising apprehensions about attempts at caste polarisation are slowly getting visible.
They are pointing towards the targeting of the Jat and the Rajput communities for not participating in the violence against the Muslims despite being exhorted to do so.
A ‘war’ of sorts has been unleashed on social media and also by way of mouth particularly against the Jats. Those who want peace and sanity to prevail are wary of the attempts to polarise the rural hinterland on the basis of caste.
They are underlining how this polarisation had played a role in bringing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) back to power in the wake of the Jat reservation agitation of 2016. This agitation had resulted in the fragmentation of the 36 Biradari in the state into the ratio of 35 is to one where the Jats who account for roughly one fourth of the population standing isolated.
Things had taken a turn during the farmers’ agitation against the three controversial farm laws where the people across communities had come under one umbrella and the Jats because of their influence in the social domain had emerged leaders.
“The people in the villages understand that the Nuh violence was a premeditated move by the right wing Hindutva forces aimed at securing political power in 2024. They are relating things to the developments of the 2016 Jat reservation stir and the resultant caste polarisation. They are also recalling how attempts were made to divide them during the farmers’ agitation.
“The Right Wing elements had attacked the farmers’ sitting on the borders of the national capital. The farmers were called Khalistanis, Chinese agents and terrorists at that time.
There were even attempts to rake up the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue to drive a wedge between the farmers of Punjab and Haryana. But the farmers showed wisdom and all these attempts failed.
The people co-relate things in the villages. They are questioning the role of the administration in containing the violence like they had done with regards to the 2016 violence,” explained Sumit who is an All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) functionary in Rohtak.
It is being questioned by the people that don’t Jats and Rajputs remain Hindus if they have not participated in the violence against their fellow human beings. The rural folk are questioning the tendency of Hindutva forces to certify who is a Hindu and who is not.
It is also being asserted that Nuh has been on the target of the hate mongers for quite some time as they find this socio-economically backward region a fertile ground for implementing their design and agenda. In this context it is important to remember the role played by the people of this region during the farmers’ agitation.
The people of this region had contributed to the success of the movement by putting up Morchas at places like Sunehra and Shazanpur. In addition to this the majority rural population of his area had organised a massive Kisan Mazdoor Ekta Bhaichara Sammelan in July 2021 at the height of the farmers’ movement.
The Sammelan had focused on promoting communal amity and promoting solidarity among the communities. This was a challenge of sorts to the forces trying to create communal tensions in the region for some time.
Farmers’ leader Inderjit Singh pointed out that there is a need to be very cautious in tackling the games being played out to achieve caste and communal polarisation.
“It is a game being played by a corporate communal alliance which in Haryana is referred to as ‘loot aur phoot’ (divide and plunder) model. The response has to be linked with livelihood issues. The battle has to be fought on two legs of economical and socio-cultural issues,” Singh said.
He disclosed that there are certain moves afoot in south Haryana that will have dangerous ramifications. “There are demands being raised in meetings that Nuh be merged in Uttar Pradesh where they (Muslims) will be taught a proper lesson.
“Then certain Gram Panchayats are officially passing resolutions calling for the boycott of the Muslims (pix attached) and handing these resolutions to the administrative officials on official letterheads. This is an illegal punishable offence. Such things were earlier coming from self-styled caste Panchayats but this is from elected Panchayats which is reprehensible,” Singh added.
Another farmers’ leader Suresh Kauth aired concerns coming from the villages. “The timing of the unleashing of violence in Nuh by Hindutva organisations and foot soldiers needs to be seen in the context of the BJP facing flak in the Parliament on the situation in Manipur.
“There is no doubt among the people on this violence being preplanned. The people also understand the role played by the authorities in the entire process. The question being raised by the common man is who carries arms to a religious procession,” Kauth said while further pointing out that the common man was unaware of the designs of the miscreants.
Meanwhile, Sadbhavna Yatras are being held across the state by those who want peace and amity. Several farmer organisations and Khaps came together during the public meeting at Baas village near Hansi on Wednesday to condemn the attempt made to destroy the social fabric in Nuh. The meeting had participation from various communities.