Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.
by: Naina Jethalia
The ongoing farmer’s agitation in the villages of Bhatta and Parsol has rocked the entire nation, with the once touted invincible ‘Maya Nagri’ being the epicenter. These twin villages in greater Noida have now become a vote song for the congress plotting a route-map for the 2012 assembly elections. On the onset, it seems like a strategy to connect with the villagers of the state and vilify the current BSP government which has had a strong foothold in U.P. The agitation started with the farmers protesting for higher compensations, unwilling to surrender their land for commercial purposes in the western part of Uttar Pradesh. As a consequence, the police clashed with the farmers, much to the chagrin of our ‘heir-apparent of the congress’, Rahul Gandhi. A group of retired army men, who participated actively and backed the farmers, left no stones unturned (literally!) in an armed confrontation with the police. This issue took a turn for the worse after 2 policemen and 2 farmers were killed in the ensuing clashes.
A week ago, Bhatta Parsol was all over the news as it witnessed some heroic moments and support from the congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi. He not only reached the location on a motor-cycle (the metro probably did not reach the villages in question) after he dodged the UP police in the wee hours on May 12 but also launched a dharna protest, demanding a change in the land acquisition pattern and raised his voice against the atrocities. He alleged that several women were raped by the police officials and bodies were burnt in heaps. It is now a war for the congress. Rahul Gandhi’s arrest made him win a point over his rivals leaving the BJP, BSP and Samajwadi party fuming as he became the national hero. These parties slammed the volley of accusations hurled at them by the Congress and accused Rahul Gandhi of playing politics, indisputably holds the centre stage, though the spotlight is now swinging like a pendulum between Bhen Mayawati and the Congress youth leader, with the formers jibes regarding the recent hike in petrol prices and thereby, yanking the Congress’s Achilles heel.
Rahul’s plan to revive the Congress party in Uttar Pradesh seems to be working finally. The question is whether all of this is just another trick to fool the people for the upcoming elections by treating them as mere “pawns” to achieve their objective or are they really concerned about the farmer’s condition? While the state govt. has dismissed all the allegations, the opposition parties are blaming them for the poor condition of the farmers. The village has become nothing more but a blame game that clearly indicates the truth that none of them paid attention to the farmer’s condition. That is probably why the Land Acquisition act is pending since 1998 despite the fact that all the parties are in consensus. However, the centre now feels the dire need to amend the act and is even ready to pass an ordinance. But why now? Promises were made by the prime minister himself to amend the act last year then why wasn’t anything done till now.
The war seems to have intensified after yet another arrest. This time it was Sachin pilot, the minister of state for IT and communication, who was visiting the villagers lodged in the Dasna jail in Ghaziabad district, while proceeding towards the violence hit village. He has accused the state govt. for terrorizing the farmers and especially Mayawati for not providing the farmers with compensation. Well it is this battle ground that will decide the fate of many lives including the political parties. According to Rahul Gandhi, this is just the beginning of the fire which seems to be spreading at a fast pace.