Vaisakhi is an Indian harvest festival, also known as Baisakhi. It is a celebration of the spring harvest and the start of the new year for the Sikhs. Even though the celebration goes with different names in different regions, Punjab is its bastion. Punjab is known as the wheat bowl of India and supplies more than 20% of India’s food supplies.
The highlight of the festival is dancing, singing, music, and wearing colorful clothes and turbans. It is also an expression of an abundance of food and aspirations for prosperity. It is a joyous expression of the spring harvest. Who does not dance to Punjabi Music?
Baisakhi Songs Dances follow- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF5OL0zmdqk
However, this year, Baisakhi may be commemorated rather than celebrated. What is happening in India is a sad situation. The Modi administration has enacted three laws that strip the small farmers from their livelihood and enslave them to the large corporations. The farmers are known as “Anna Datha” (God or provider of the food) and are being disrespected by the current administration.
Over 100,000 Farmers have marched to Delhi on their tractors to protest against the draconian laws that affect their lives without consulting them. The Modi administration dug trenches and plugged huge nails on the ground to harm them. Farmers are peacefully protesting against these laws. Nearly 60% of Indians are employed in the agriculture sector directly and indirectly and it has a bad consequence – food insecurity and a season without harvest.
The home Minister, Mr. Amit Shah, has a history of manufacturing fake encounters in Gujarat. Upon becoming the Home minister of India, all the charges were dropped against him. He is at again; he got a bad guy to stage violence to blame the peaceful farmers. Indian Express writes today that “the police have slapped attempts to murder charges against the agitators for trying to get him (a politician) down from the car while opening the car’s door.” The administration also resorts to Jumla-baazi wordsmithery to denigrate the protestors by calling them, separatists. Shame on them for such mean tactics for political gains.
The farmers are on the ground 24/7 for the last six months in the cold winter of Delhi, and now they will face the scorching summer heat. The farmers are a determined people and have come prepared to carry on their mission, and they are cooking on the roadside, sleeping and taking showers, and sitting out there on the dirt.
I am not sure if I should say Happy Baisakhi, but I certainly support their protests. Protests got us independence from colonial rule, it was the protests that bring us the change, and I wish the very best for our farmers, and I stand with the farmers, as most Indians do.
Dr. Mike Ghouse is president of the Center for Pluralism, an author of the book American Muslim Agenda and an interfaith wedding officiant. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His bio is at www.TheGhouseDiary.com or at Linked-in.