ISLAMABAD, Jan 25 (APP): This year, Republic Day of India will be altogether different from the one the country had been observing in the the past, when it used to show case its military might to the world.
But this year, the New Delhi will echo with rebellious and revolutionary songs instead of Vande Matram and a cavalcade of over two and half million tractors will overshadow the weaponry and military vehicles’ parade. Punjabi tableaus on dingy tractor trolleys will subdue the cultural floats, at the official parade.
The skyline of New Delhi will glare with the colorful Punjab turbans, not the military one.
Hundreds of thousands of farmers are set to hit the Delhi streets from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan to protest new laws by Narenda Modi government.
According to Indian officials, the rally at Ghazipur border will be about 50 kilometers long, 100 kilometers long at Singhu border and 125 kilometers long at the Tikri border. In total, the tractor rally will be 250 kilometers long, Indian media reported.
The farmers believe that new three laws will destroy Indian agriculture and hand it over to just two to three industrialists. Even one of the laws clearly states that farmers can’t go to court to protect themselves.
“Two and a half million tractors are arriving in Delhi. The large number of tractors is a response to some leaders who said that only 60 thousand tractors took part in the rehearsal rally on January 6 whereas there are about 40 lakh registered tractors in the country. Hence, in this rally, farmers will show their strength to the government,” India Today quoted Dharmendra Malik, national media in-charge of the Bharatiya Kisan Union.
None of the Indian government’s tactics could frighten the protesting farmers even a now busted shootout plot to kill the farmer leaders.
The farmer’s rallies are getting momentum as they pass through various cities on their way to New Delhi mission.
“On the stretches of the NH-44 between Haryana’s Ambala and Sonipat, there were tractors as far as the ye could travel. Songs of protestors sung by popular Punjabi singers blared from speakers as flags of farmers’ unions fluttered atop tractors,” The Times of India reported.
For Kisan vs Delhi fight, dozens of Punjabi and Haryanvi songs have been released with lyrics full of revolution and rebellion. The “Kisan Anthem,” “Jawani Zindabad”, “Delhi Fateh,” “Sun Delhiye” ”Chup Kar Ja Delhiye” “Baghi Kisan” “Kisan Andolan” Ailaan” and “Bolda Punjab” are a few of the many songs which have already flooded the internet.
Some of the said songs even exposed the hypocritic attitude of Indian media and instead lauded foreign media outlets for highlighting their struggle.
The farmers’ unions have also issued do’s and don’ts to make their ‘Kisan Gantantra Parade’ a completely peaceful event.
Besides, it released a dedicated helpline number to respond to the farmers facing any issue during the rally.
However, the police is still dilly dallying to finalize the route of the rally citing so-called security reasons and terror threats.
Even coming to a new low, the Uttar Pardesh government directed the supply officers not to give diesel to protesting farmers which further provoked the protestors who blocked the roads in various parts of the state.
Aam Aadmi Party which rules National Capital Territory of Delhi has announced to welcome the rallies at Delhi border.
Besides New Delhi, the farmers have also planned protests in other parts of the country like Bengaluru on Republic Day to show their support to those protesting in capital city.
The Modi government, through the district administration is pressuring the farmers by sending notices citing COVID-19 SOPs and section 144 of CrPC forbidding any gathering.
Republic Day in Kashmir
The day in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) will be observed with black flags, protest marches, shut down of business and raising of Pakistan flag in utter defiance to the Narendra Modi’s regime that has turned the valley into a huge concentration camp.
Senior Kashmir leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in a statement issued in Srinagar said, innocent civilians were harassed and arrested on fake charges while the plight of Kashmiri detainees in Indian jails was pathetic, Kashmir Media Service reported.
Drawing attention of international community towards serious human rights violations in IIOJK, Mirwaiz said that Kashmiris will observe 26 January as Black Day.
A complete shutdown will be observed on the Day to give a strong message to the world that India, being usurper of Kashmiris’ fundamental rights, had no right to observe the day in the territory.
Call for shutdown and Black Day has been given by All Parties Hurriyat Conference and other Hurriyat organizations.
People through posters, displayed by APHC, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Alliance and Youth Freedom Fighter in Srinagar, Pulwama, Tral, Kulgam, Islamabad, Shopian, Kupwara, Handwar, Bandipore and others areas of the valley asked to boycott all Indian official celebrations and hoist black flags on the rooftops of their houses, shops and other buildings.
The posters continued to surface since last one week at different locations of the territory.
APHC leader and Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Khawateen Markaz Chairperson Yasmeen Raja urged the people to boycott all Indian celebrations to send a loud and clear message to the world and India that the Kashmiris rejected Indian illegal occupation and were struggling to secure their right to self-determination.
Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League said the unresolved Kashmir dispute could lead to a nuclear catastrophe in South Asia and the world will not be able to cope with its dangerous consequences.
Tehreek-e-Istiqlal Vice Chairman Mushtaq Ahmad Butt and General Secretary Abdul Hameed said that India has no moral right to celebrate the day in the occupied territory.
As usual, Indian government turned the entire Kashmir valley into a military garrison after imposed curfew-like restrictions in the name of security ahead of Republic Day.
People were forced to stop at check-posts and subjected to vigorous frisking and checking.
The forces have been deployed in massive numbers around the venues of the January 26 functions across the Valley.
The presence of forces’ personnel around vital installations in and around Srinagar as well as other district headquarters has been enhanced.
Security has also been strengthened around the venues for the Republic Day functions, including Kashmir Cricket Stadium, where the main function in the Valley would take place.
Report for APP Digital by Ishtiaq Ahmed