One year down the line, the sustained struggle against contentious farm legislations turned into a biggest headache for the BJP-led central government as the protest not only made its presence felt across the length and breadth of the nation, but its echo was heard in several foreign countries wherever Indians, especially Punjabis, are settled as immigrants.
According to insiders, it was a routine call for showcasing anger against the central government after nothing much had come out of the two rounds of talks — the first being held on October 14, 2020 with the Union agriculture secretary where farmers had come out of meeting after finding no ministers, and the second with Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar and commerce minister Piyush Goyal on November 13, 2020.
The denial of permission by the governments and the way Haryana government dig out trenches, put boulders on highways to stop protesters from marching further and Delhi police stopping them from entering the national capital made all the difference.
As the saying goes that when the oppression rises, the sections being oppressed either submit or further firm up their resolve to fight. The farmers chose the latter and decided to toe the line ‘Mannu saadi daatri asi manu de soe, jyon jyon sanu vadh’da asi doon savae hoye’ (Mannu is our sickle, we the fodder for him to mow, the more he cuts, the more we grow), describing the barbarity of Punjab’s Mughal governor Muin-Ul-Mulk also known as Mir Mannu from 1748 to 1753.
“When the central government felt the going tough, the back channel diplomacy was put on a fast track. The services of premier central agencies were sought to sniff out at what point the farmer leaders can get ready to settle the issue. Those activities, however, failed to yield the desired results,” said reliable sources within the farmer groups.
After failing to reach any middle path and the loss caused by happenings at Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3, the government started making up its mind to toe the line for which the farmers had been sitting at the borders of Delhi, sources added.