Amid the ongoing battle between the farmers from Punjab and Haryana and the Centre over contentious farm laws, ace boxer Vijender Singh spoke out in support of the protesting farmers and their rights.
Vijender said that while the protests are over farm laws which directly affect the farmers and their occupation, which essentially runs the country, some people are trying to deviate the narrative to further their own politically-driven agenda. He says the farmers are fighting for their own rights and not fighting the government, hence people should not try to shift the narrative.
“Farmers know what is right for them. These people run and feed the country and the government must understand what they are fighting for. Farmers have categorically mentioned that their fight is not against the government, so when you see some people trying to shift the narrative, you know their intentions are to malign the farmers and discredit the movement,” he told Indiatimes.
“Bollywood lacks spine, they should learn from us”
The protests have stirred a storm of words on social media, sparking heated debates from the two factions, with Bollywood celebs like Kangana Ranaut alleging the protests are politically motivated and have little to do with farmers’ rights.
Over the last couple of days, Vijender had tweeted in support of the farmers and criticised the regime for its uncaring approach, and had not shied away from taking a dig at some celebrities.
— Vijender Singh (@boxervijender) December 2, 2020
Galat panga le liya bhen 👊🏽 https://t.co/MK687zEKOL
— Vijender Singh (@boxervijender) December 3, 2020
“When the oil prices were hitting the roof back in 2014, Bollywood celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar, were extremely critical of the then government in the Centre and now when the farmers of the country are protesting, they are nowhere to be found. When the JNU students were being beaten up and the Shaheen Bagh protests happened, the fraternity was mum,” says Vijender, adding that they have a lot to learn from artists who risk it all by speaking up.
Vijender believes that speaking out on social media platforms is a great way to lend support and connect with millions of people who echo similar sentiment. “Singers like Gippy Grewal, Ammy Virk and Diljit Dosanjh have shown great courage by speaking out for their community and standing strong with them.
“Bollywood definitely lacks spine and this is an opportunity for them to learn to stand with their community,” Vijender remarked.
“Business opportunity for private players”
He added that what the government is essentially doing is that they are trying to convince the farmers that these laws are in their benefit, but these farmers are well aware of the implications these disputable laws may have in the future.
Speaking purely on numeric grounds, India is facing severe bottlenecks in economic growth. The quarterly estimates released last week show in the second quarter of the current fiscal, the country’s GDP has contracted by 7.5 per cent over the corresponding period in 2019. Agriculture remains the only sector that has maintained vigorous growth of 3.4 per cent in the second quarter, continuing the trend from the first quarter.
Vijender says the agricultural sector’s robust growth is seen as a business opportunity and private players and businessmen are trying to benefit from it, leaving the farmers with little recourse.
Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh are protesting Centre’s new farms laws over the last one week around Delhi borders, demanding the roll-back of these laws, which they fear will harm their livelihood.