Nagar: lockdowns have little to do with Indian farmers’ protests

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The Indian media and many people here and abroad are comparing the protests of Indian farmers to those of anti-vaxxers in the guise of the convoy of truckers. They equate the former with the occupation of downtown Ottawa. Comparing the two is a denial of the facts.

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The Print, an Indian online newspaper launched in 2017, in its item on January 30, “As Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with his family, reportedly hid in a secret location due to potential security threats as thousands of people in a huge convoy poured into the capital, Ottawa, In protest against Canada’s vaccination mandates, social media users in India said Trudeau was receiving a reward for supporting farmers’ protests in India that have lasted more than a year.

In December 2020, the prime minister backed the farmers’ protests.

Amish Devgan, the editor of a news channel in India, tweeted: “…Karma hits harder r…”. location due to a security threat…”

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I have written about the farmers’ protest in India in these columns, saying that these protests were led by the farmers themselves and the farmers’ organizations. The peoples of the agricultural states supported this agitation. No political leader was allowed to speak from the central stage of protesting farmers, although there was clear support from many political parties.

The freedom convoy was at least similar to that of the Indian farmers’ protest. The farmers were opposing three agricultural laws suddenly introduced by the BJP government in India.

In India, the 32 organizations formed the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Farmers’ Common Front) and various groups in Indian society – traders, shopkeepers, farmworker groups, landlords and tenants – joined the farmers.

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The leadership of the Freedom Convoy, on the other hand, seemed clearly confused and some used Nazi signs and slogans, allegedly defiling the War Memorial in Ottawa and making life for residents of downtown Ottawa a living hell. living.

The majority of South Asian truckers are outright opposed to this convoy of truckers.

During the protest by Indian farmers, more than 650 people died during the unrest. Fortunately, no one was killed in Canada, however.

The ultimate goal of Indian farmers was to get the central government to repeal the Farm Bills, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi did in November last year. The Canadian federal government has not repealed its vaccination mandates for cross-border truckers.

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Some facts seemed similar. Charges of foreign money and interference were among the most common. The call for police to tackle agitators, protests being a threat to democracy, anti-nationals and sedition labels were similar to voices heard in both countries.

The protests in India have strengthened the bonds between the states of Haryana and Punjab, between different sections of society, and these same protests have proven that if people are united and peaceful, anything can be achieved.

Those who equate the Freedom Convoy with the Indian farmers’ protest are doing nothing but trying to vitiate relations between the two countries.

Trudeau’s approach to the situation here in Canada can be debated or criticized, but the striking similarities between the two different protests are less worthy of debate.

Rishi Nagar is the news director of Red FM 106.7 in Calgary, a member of the Calgary Police Department’s Anti-Racism Committee and a member of the University of Calgary Senate.

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