#FarmerProtests2020: Jarnail Singh Bhinderwala Re-born?

The video clip below (shared by one of our readers) is of Yograj Singh, a former Indian cricketer and father of Yuvraj Singh, the renowned Indian cricketer.

A tweet by Akaal Channel, says Yograj Singh, a firebrand Sikh leader has been arrested for his “hate speech”.

“Jarnail Singh Bhinderwala re-born?”, asks an observer.

Who is Jarnail Singh? According to Wikipedia, “The Sikhs’ highest temporal authority Akal Takht describe him a ‘martyr’ with immense appeal among rural sections of the Sikh population, who saw him as a powerful leader who stood up to Indian state dominance and repression, (and) to many Indians he symbolized the revivalist and extremist movement in (Indian) Punjab”.

According to another tweet, a “resolution has been passed in every town city and village of Punjab that one person from every home/family to participate in #FarmerProtests2020“.

Independent sources have yet to confirm the development.

The farmers are camping along at least five main highways on the outskirts of the national capital territory and have said they will not leave until the government rolls back what they call the “black laws”.

Farmers in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana have been protesting against the laws for nearly two months. The situation escalated last week when tens of thousands marched to New Delhi and clashed with the police on the outskirts.

According to Aljazeera, the Indian government and protesting farmers were unable to break their deadlock in talks, with the farmers saying they will intensify their demonstrations against new agriculture laws and continue blocking key highways on the outskirts of the capital Delhi.

Protest leaders rejected the government’s offer to amend some contentious provisions of the new farm laws, which deregulate crop pricing, and stuck to the demand for total repeal.

They also announced a nationwide strike for Tuesday. They said they would intensify their agitation and occupy toll plazas across the country on the strike day if the government didn’t abolish the laws.

The two sides will meet for further discussions on Wednesday.

Thousands of farmers are protesting against reforms that they say could devastate crop prices and reduce their earnings. They have blocked highways on the outskirts of Delhi for the last 10 days.

An independent observer questions why the farmer agitation is not being covered by Indian news channels.

In his view, and several observers agree, a look at the majority owners of some private TV channels could be the reason:

The observer claims:

Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries owns 20 news channels, the most prominent of which are News 18, CNBC Awaaz, CNN-News 18, and CNBC TV18. In addition, it has news portals such as First Post and Money Control.

All Zee News channels are owned by Subhash Chandra, a Rajya Sabha member from the BJP. It is also the owner of WION, the international English language news channel.

Repulic TV was jointly launched in 2017 by BJP Rajya Sabha members Rajiv Chandrasekhar and Arnab Goswami.

  • The owner of India TV, Rajat Sharma was a member of ABVP which is the student wing of K RSS.

News24 is owned by Anuradha Prasad, sister of current Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the K Modi government.

The owner of Sudarshan News is Suresh Chavanke who has been a long time volunteer and office bearer of ABVP and RSS.

India News and New News -X are owned by Karthik Sharma who is the brother of K Mannu Sharma (who shot and killed Jessica Lal).

According to Business Line, Mohinder Nahata, a close associate of Mukesh Ambani who is a board member of Reliance Jio, has so far acquired 52 per cent stake in NDTV and the real owners (promoters) of the news channel, Prannoy Rai and Radhika. Struggling to retain control over their editorial policies.

“That is why the fourth pillar of democracy is silent (perhaps misleading) on perhaps the greatest protest of our generation’s lifetime, while even major world media organizations such as the BBC World, the Washington Post, the Guardian, etc. are doing so,” he says.