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  • Mohineet Kaur Boparai

Punjab has Set an Example for the Nation

Updated: Feb 12, 2021

The photo is a courtesy of Al Jazeera

India is a country where inequalities are so rampantly visible that people have started to disregard what they see. Disparity has become the norm. People see normlessness as an outcome of living in a developing country. The repetitive use of the very label of "developing country" has made a majority of Indians accept their position as it is, and consider it as an inevitable part of life. There have been several uprisings of different scales all across the nation where dissenters have stood up for their right to a free existence. There are several zones in the country where inequalities are more apparent than others, while on a larger scale there is a general aura of normlessness that fails to strike most as a problem worth fighting.

Those in governance and at the highest levels of political power, know that they are immune to any solid dissent. They know that the country is a culturally heterogeneous state but the problems that exist impact most common people similarly. They use this very knowledge to divide a country that should be conjoined in its efforts to fight corruption. They pick out minorities and put them in conflict with the majority. If one studies a neighbourhood, it becomes apparent that these people are easy-going, friendly people who respect one-another. That is the state of most humanity because most individuals like to be connected to others and enjoy company of some kind. The Indian politicians divide people through political stunts and by making people believe that they do not need one another as much as they need the government officials and their goons. They act with a focus on not what the country needs in the form of developmental governance but play the cards of helping certain groups to assert that they are powerful, and hence mighty. If at all they give us our rights, they do it as a favour or rather as a reciprocation of a bribe. I you want to get things done, you need to be politically connected or wealthy (and that is even better). There are communities who do not have either, and they believe that there is no way to be heard. But wait until you see what is happening in North India. Particularly visible in this uprising are the people of Punjab.

The Punjabi people had hither to been depicted in media as headstrong brats who had resources to lead an enviable lifestyle but had no mental skills worth admiring. Movies like Udta Punjab had gone so far as to label Punjab as a drugged state given the reports of growing drug menace in the state. What is happening in the farmer uprising today has given us a completely contradictory image of the state to the one propounded in movies. This protest has changed how Punjabis will be viewed in the decades to come. Also, Punjabi people have been represented in Bollywood as angry young men or people who are only meant to be taken humourously or if they are heroic, it is because of their vigour. Today, the vigour is apparent on the faces of the Punjabi people in the images streaming in the media, but something more important is taking place in the farmers' protest. Punjabi people have shown that when the young and old come together, conjoin their knowledge and learn from one another, a lot will transpire that can undo politics not only in Delhi but across India. Their organized efforts are like a whiff of fresh air in a congested room. They have opened the windows and doors and let the revolutionary spirit in. In the wake of the events of the past few days, a new vigour has gripped India and the Indian herself/himself has been re-defined. If I were religious I would have ended with "Amen," but it is suffice to say, long live revolution.

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