Rakesh Tikait, the head of the farmers' Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) has said that after seven months' protests, his organisation is as determined as ever to get the agricultural laws revoked.
Revealing a "Triple T - Tanks, Tractors and Twitter" formula, Tikait reminded the government on Tuesday that the farming community in India not only produces food, but also produces soldiers and informed youngsters who guard the nation and know efficient ways to raise voices for their causes on social media platforms. Therefore, the stance of farmers remains strong and demand to have the new laws revoked remains firm, Tikait said.
“The farmer who works in the field and drives a tractor, is the same farmer who goes to the borders to drive the tank. We have a lot of soldiers, who run tractors in the fields, and tanks on the borders. The same farmer also has Twitter on his phone. This is the 'Triple T' formula. This will benefit not only the farmers movement but also the country,” Farmers' Leader, Rakesh Tikait, told the media.
In a tweet, published on 20 June, Tikait directed his farmer friends to keep their “tractors ready”. His was a call to fellows to remain prepared in case they are needed to come to the borders of Delhi for demonstration.
On 26 January, a a farmers protest at Delhi's Red Fort turned violent, leaving hundreds of policemen with injuries.
— Rakesh Tikait (@RakeshTikaitBKU) June 20, 2021
Speaking to Sputnik, Gaurav Tikait, a member and spokesman of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), said that farmers from 74 districts of Uttar Pradesh (UP) state are planning to continue protesting.
"The farmers will strengthen their protest in a peaceful manner. But they will be putting forward their demand to the government of revoking the farm laws,” he said.
He said Twitter is a powerful platform that farmers use to keep the people of India updated about their cause and issues. "At least when the government doesn’t, fellow Indians listen to us."
"We know about the ongoing tensions between the government and Twitter – but all I want to say is that social networking platforms are very important and PM Modi will be remembered as an oppressing 'tanashah' (dictator) for suppressing dissenting voices,” the spokesman added.
Struggling with the devastating second wave of COVID-19 and scorching heat, hundreds of farmers have been protesting next to the borders of the national capital. It has been seven months since protests began, and since February this year, there have been no official discussions between the farmers and the government.
For now, the farmers already on the borders of Delhi are taking it a day at a time. They have set up some temporary shelters along the roads and highways around Delhi to shield them from the sun and the forthcoming rains.
— Glorious Punjabis Globally (@GloriousPunjab1) April 6, 2021
“We cook our food, and try to take care of each other. A lot of people from the Punjab are sitting in protest. We are clear on our stance. The farm laws must be revoked. We will intensify the protests," Darshan Pal Singh, who has been on the Delhi border for months as a protester told Sputnik.
Farmers working on their fields are boycotting Prime Minister Modi and his government,” he added.
The two new farm bills and one amendment act that have brought farmers from different parts of the country flocking to Delhi's borders are: the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
Although Prime Minister Modi and his government backs these three farm laws calling them “progressive”, the farmers fear these laws will dilute the minimum support price (MSP) system, as the new laws now require farmers to enter into supply contracts with any procurer across the country.
More than 300 farmers have died during the protests, from natural causes, season factors and even suicides as of now.