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India: It is a question of respecting the Gandhian heritage - Public statement by the Gandhian fraternity of the country about the farmer’s agitation | 30 Jan 2021

4 February

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GANDHI PEACE FOUNDATION

30.01.2021

Farmers agitation has been going on since several months. All along, they have shown exemplary transparency, restraint and peacefulness. The chaos that took place on 26 January, in the name of farmers movement, has deeply pained the democratic and peace loving citizens of the nation like us. It is not a question of supporting or opposing any movement, it is a question of respecting and following the Gandhian heritage and democratic values of the country. We caution the government as well as the society that nothing other than chaos and disintegration will come by violating the Lakshman Rekha drawn by the Constitution and the democracy. The country is going through a very delicate phase hence the first step that both government and society both should take is to respect this Lakshman-Rekha.

Full credit to the Farmers whom, Mahatma Gandhi called ’father of the universe’, that they have created a new paradigm of peaceful retribution. In spite of all the sad happenings of 26 January, they have’t lost their cool; they have’t abandoned their peaceful creed. They are facing all the atrocities of the government and administration but taking their movement to new heights. The political, economic and social injustice that has been done to farmers and farming since independence has not been hidden from anyone. Unable to face this injustice, millions of farmers have committed suicide so far. The current farmer movement is a movement to demand justice for them and to save all the farmers from meeting similar fate. This is the movement of all the citizens of India, because we are all

invariably children of farmers, we eat and drink, what is provided by the them. Therefore, when we honour this movement, we are pay back our debt and show our gratitude to them.

It has now become abundantly clear that the farmers were not behind the chaos of 26 January. Criminal elements and the status quo forces used the movement as a Trojan Horse. We do believe that the peasant movement’s erred by failing to recognise and isolate such elements amongst them. But failure is not same as dishonesty. The Supreme Court has also declared the right to peaceful protest by the citizens as constitutional. Therefore, it is now the moral responsibility of the court and the government too to find out and inform the country of the criminal elements and those who instigated them, who fraudulently thwarted the constitutional right of citizens. Without this, the credibility of both these institutions is also at stake. It’s of utmost importance that no part of the system created by the Constitution and by the people of India, forget that their very existence is because of the people and their belief in them.
We, part of the Gandhian family, want to tell the farmers that they should not abandon the path of peace and truth while continuing with their struggle. Because it is the only path that leads to everyone’s auspicious success.

  • Kumar Prashant, Chairman, Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi
  • Ramchandra Rahi, Chairman, Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, New Delhi
  • Chndanpal, President, Sarva Seva Sangh, Sevagram, Wardha
  • Dr. Visheajit and Ajmat Khan, Rashtriya Yuva Sangthan, Wardha