The incidents that unravelled at the Red Fort on Tuesday will be a setback to the otherwise peaceful ongoing farmers’ protest. The attempts to taint the farm organisations, united under the banner of the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, will hit the bargaining power of the unions with the Centre over the three farm laws. These are the views expressed by agricultural experts and sociologists in the region, who feel that the farmer unions will have to re-strategise their struggle.
Tuesday’s events, they say, might erode some support for the struggle. Parmod Kumar, socio-political expert and director of the Institute for Development and Communication, says the farm struggle was in the domain of a legitimate movement till Tuesday. “Now, a large section of people will be cautious in supporting them, till they reinvent their strategy. Even if it is a conspiracy, it will affect the outcome. Farm organisations will have to counter this immediately and effectively,” he adds.
Eminent farm economist Ranjit Singh Ghuman says what happened in Delhi on Tuesday was unfortunate. “Though the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha has immediately dissociated itself from the errant organisations, it has had an adverse impact on the movement. Farm unions will have to use all democratic instruments to once again restore their image as peace-loving protesters, so that they can restore their own bargaining power with the government,” he says.Dr Lakhwinder Singh, another eminent economist, says even as the voice of farmers — their version of how the events unfolded and the persons responsible for the violating the law — was throttled, the social media played the role of spreading their narrative. “But this has come as a setback. The narrative that has been created by the miscreants will have to be countered effectively,” he said.