” Farmers’ Parade in Delhi – ‘le fiasco’ ” – January 26, 2021.

Farmers’ parade in Delhi on the Republic Day has been a sad story. It was a disappointment and disadvantage to the farmers ; pain and sorrow to the people affected ; farmers’ case for the repeal of the Farm Laws look gloomy and even lost ; rewards to none but stress and anger to all those who supported their cause.

What happened :

The parade was virtually an unjustified assault on the capital city of India and its valued democratic norms. Assaulting a policeman fatally, media, and some common people were the end points.

The parade was about the nearly 120 minutes of fear and insecurity of people when the capital city was almost on the verge of a siege.

The parade was a scene of not just the disturbance but the expression of anger and emotions by people who are frightened by the assault.

The man who climbed the Red Fort dome to mount and wave a flag will remind the military men of the assault course for improving skills and strength but what this man did in this instance is a crime.

For today’s children who are more engaged and aware politically, witnessing these events on TV will make them stop heeding to the descriptions of our freedom struggle and the toil experienced by our patriotic freedom fighters. They will refuse to believe what it would have been like then.

It will be different for any common man to really process what went wrong on this Republic Day evening and how to judge our Democratic institutions and Law enforcement tomorrow, the day after, and still later.

What the parade achieved :

The parade embarrassed the Government, people of India, and even the international community while precipitating inadequacies and possibly shame to the farmers.

Events of the parade impaired the goals of the farmers at least in the short term.

Arguing their case has been weakened by the flow of disturbances that happened during the parade.

About 41 unions have been involved in staging the protests, it is learnt. The events of the parade proved clearly the deficiencies and inadequacies of their leaders in effectively controlling the proceedings and they are now virtually compelled to wage a battle against the very same shortcomings.

The consequences glaringly reflect the flouting of social norms and values of a peaceful parade even while satisfying the personal norms of the antisocial elements supposed to have intruded itself in the parade.

The outcome of the parade will be continuation of the wrangles between the farmer leaders and the Government over the issues of settlement combined with a possible legal wrangle over the death of a policeman.

A critical evaluation of the parade by common people will have nothing to record in terms of any concrete benefit to the society or the overall usefulness of the parade itself.

The parade for sure made it big in the media for all the wrong reasons diminishing the scope of any swift settlement.

The identity of the farmers in general suffered a major setback with a possible breakdown in talks of negotiations at least temporarily.

The parade actually blew the Farmers’ chances of winning the support of co-farmers nationwide.

Instead of the usual goal of such parades in accending new insights and ideas, this has actually caused a hurt that will possibly take a long time to heal.

Conclusion :

The farmers’ parade on this day cannot be called ” normative”. The parade in Delhi on the Republic Day itself is not a good idea and one that could have been avoided given the contentious nature of the negotiations on Farm Laws. Instead of lending potency and a sense of well being to the farmers it only showered weaknesses and unhappiness in the end. Farmers have to brace themselves for a long and tough negotiating process now.

” Dieu avec nous”

Tuesday, January 26, 2021 – 9.59 p.m. (IST)

Tidbit : ” Setting up of a committee to investigate how it happened will be the immediate action from the authorities now “

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” Be on the Guard – Parade will breed Parades ” – January 25, 2021.

Republic Day 2021 will be witness to a second Parade unprecedented in our History – a Tractor Parade by the protesting farmers with the pageantry of some occasions drawn from their practices of cultivation. Farmers’ raison d’etre for the protests : ” The three Farm Laws enacted by the government makes way for eliminating the safety cushion of MSP and do away with the ‘mandi’ system (wholesale market system) leaving them at the mercy of Corporates.

The parade as claimed by the Farmer leaders will be peaceful ; will cover the 68 km route on the outer ring road of Delhi ; will not affect the Republic Day Parade as it starts only after the Republic Day Parade gets over ; each tractor will carry a tricolor ; each tractor will not hold more than five individuals ; the parade will be totally free of banners, weapons, or alcoholic drinks ; there will, however, be folk music and patriotic songs in display ; and the farmer leaders will be on the frontline in their cars.

As with the Republic Day Parade, the tractor parade by Farmers will feature tableaux attractively and glamorously depicting the life of farmers ; their protests ; role of women in farming ; images of their hardships in terms of water scarcity or farmer suicides ; and traditional/modern farming technology. About one lakh tractor-trailers will participate in the parade, according to the organisers.

Parades, protests, and rallies have their usual place in our society. In common terms it implies an ” expression of righteous anger ” and can even be animating. Engaging in such activities also means sacrificing one’s time, energy, money, effort and also one’s pleasant life for a cause.

People usually respond to grievances, deprivation, and perceived injustice in different ways. That the farmers are engaging in a Parade in the capital city of Delhi on the same day of the Republic Day Parade holds me and probably the crores of common men and women of this nation tosticated even while making it ‘strange and special’.

There are three aspects to be observed in this respect :

(A) Farmers’ inclination to protest is primarily influenced by their preference to ‘stability or status quo’ (repeal of the three Farm Laws), and their perception of whether they are ‘legitimate or illegitimate’. It still remains to be seen as to how the parade will end – whether it will attract a huge participation or whether it will fold up sooner than expected without any ill effects. The assessment of its success or otherwise is inconclusive at this moment.

Farmers’ Unions need to ask themselves the following at the end of this parade : (a) whether the parade positively influenced and impacted their goals or not ? (b) does the union holds the power and control over the consequences of the parade ? and (c) will they justify and satisfy simply the personal norms of their leaders ? The parade, nevertheless, on the same day as the sanctimonious National Republic Day is of immense publicity value and advantage that cannot be easily qualified and quantified even by the best of statistical magic. But, is this acceptable will be the question that will linger in everybody’s mind.

(B) What is the positive outcome, if any, of this parade ? How are the people to categorise this ‘parade’ in the absence of anything concrete to the Society or the nation ? Can we transfer the ‘expectations/grievances’ into the following for convenience : (a) the parade moulded the public opinion ; (b) the parade made it big in newspapers and media ; (c) the parade reinforced the identity of all the farmers ; (d) the parade created further solidarity among farmers nationwide ; (e) the parade helped develop new insights, ideas, qualities, and meanings to the society in a positive manner ; and (f) the parade showered self gratification and self objectification to a few leaders at least. A clear “YES” to all of the above can only make the FARMERS feel a sense of real accomplishment.

Legal evaluation will also consider if the parade is ‘normative’ (conforming to the norms of social action) or ‘non-normative’ (illegal or civil disobedience which violate social rules).

(C) I strongly feel, as a common man, and we must be cautious of the fact that such ‘parades’ once initiated and held (as is the case now) will continue to last in occurrences irrespective of any hopelessness or achievement (or not) of the goals of the parade leaders. The dangers lie in the capital city (and probably other cities in future) becoming a breeding ground for such activities by other unions. Imagine the public transport unions emulating this culture for their grievances ; auto unions embracing this culture for their grievances ; retail outlets performing in a similar fashion for their livelihood (remember the January 31, 2020, Street Vendors Parliament called to pass the bill) and the like.

A parade culture is being inculcated and we are sure to witness a string of such parades one after the other.

“Parade will breed Parades”.

This is an ‘invisible attack’ culture that can encourage others for even small causes. When, where, and how to draw the line is what leaders, administrators and people should ponder now. Proper planning and organisation according to specified norms and guidelines to bring order and rationality to such unusual actions is imperative. Whether such parades have the potential to cause serious demoralisation or even divisiveness in our society is another matter that leaders and administrators should ponder over. Does it represent only the nascent shoots of a new social transformation is a subject for research in academics. What will be the culture of the common man’s emotion(s) and will it hold the positive potential to take deep roots in our society is yet another facet to delve into.

Answers to these need time, effort, energy, resources, manpower – studying, planning, and conducting impact investigations. Until then, we need only to wait and watch.

This rally, in my view, sets the precedent for a “Second National Rally” by any aggrieved section of the society with enough support to showcase their strength on every Republic Day undermining in effect the virtues of what the Day stands for.

” Dieu avec nous “

Monday, January 25, 2021 – 1.59 p.m. (IST)

Tidbit : ” Farm reforms became necessary because poor farmers who are over 80 were getting poorer during the rules of earlier Government .”

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” Internet and Web Services Benefits Restoring Dignity ” – January 5, 2021.

Anyone who says Lockdown has caused serious damage to society has another think coming. Put on your thinking cap and figure out how it has benefitted instead.

I recollect here the scenario of the 1960s when I have myself been a witness to the following :

1. Congestion in railway ticket counters – big crowd, no Queue, frequent push and pull encounters ; there was no discrimination between the educated and uneducated ; rich and poor ; privileged and unprivileged ; everybody in the queue was equal.

2. Congestion in movie theater counters – same as above ;

3. Milk counters ;

4. School/college application counters ;

5. Electricity bill payment counters ;

6. Even to open accounts in banks or depositing money in accounts.

Oue population was only about 50 crores then. We spent enormous amount of time on these activities putting ourselves under enormous pressure socially with only a few coming to terms with this enormity.

Fast forward to 2010 – fifty years hence – one is blessed with a comforting scene. Our population is about 135 crores now. On-line success enables us to do these tasks in just minutes sitting at home.

” DIGITAL SERVICE ” is the tool that has made our lives easier and less time consuming.

Digital service has penetrated deeply into our daily activities. Vegetables, groceries, foods of our choice to be delivered at home has become a boon of ‘Internet Application’. Its impact is seen even on those with little knowledge in terms of education when they get trained or experienced in these applications benefiting them.

Micro, small, and medium enterprises ; Agricultural organisations ; Financial institutions ; Banks ; Sales outlets ; General trade ; Education sector ; Health and Hospital services and medical consultations have become adhered to the formal observance of Internet Applications.

Releasing and witnessing movies online ; Conducting art, cultural, or literary events ; and videoconferencing are becoming increasingly more and powerful in the last 10 months, specially, when Coronavirus struck humanity gravely making us stay indoors.

What could not be achieved in the last 5 years since PM, Modi’s declaration in 2014 of “Digital India” has now become possible in just 10 months of Corona Lockdown.

Job opportunities in sectors related to IT and Internet Applications have been growing now. TCS, Infosys, Wipro and several other IT organisations have started recruiting engineering and computer system graduates and specialists.

On-line learning practices during these 10 months have seen a surge in Courses (including Certification) making the next generation of students prepare the ground for future opportunities. “Atal Innovation Mission”, a Government initiative, in partnership with IT Trade Advice and Services Organisations has enhanced the quality and use of on-line education in schools.

Tata group has taken 20% shares of ‘Big Basket’, the e-Commerce trader to promote its business aggressively. Flipkart in partnership with banks and non-banking financial institutions has initiated the loan program for small business enterprises. Many organisations, world over, have displayed keen interest in direct participation and on-line participation of trade/business with India.

Sweden’s H&M knitwear manufacturer, even while closing their 250 odd retail stores worldwide, have nevertheless been keenly engaged in doubling their outlets in India. It now has 48 stores in 24 States in India, and its focus will be to capture the market in small cities/towns and rural areas.

About 36.5 crores of people, of all ages with no discrimination, have been using the Computer Games in India. The Virtual Mall of Google’s Play Stores has garnered a revenue of $ 17.3 billion (about ₹ 12650 crores ) in the first half of 2020.

India’s talent ; technology, software, and human resources ; combined with its huge population mark the Strength. Hence, the focus in this is a matter of paramount importance for our future.

Patience and discipline should be an integral part of our involuntary response in future. This alone can and will restore the human dignity.

” Dieu avec nous “

Tuesday, January 5, 2021 – 5.49 p.m. (IST)

Tidbit : ” Your culture is your brand ” – Tony Hsieh.

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