A Tale Of Two Movements
Mass movements are going on in both India and Pakistan presently. In India, it is the farmers’ agitation, and in Pakistan it is the agitation led by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). However, there is a vital difference between the two.
While in Pakistan the PDM is led by a coalition of political parties demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party from government, in India, the farmers, though given support by the opposition parties, have told all politicians to keep at a distance. The farmers’ movement in India has not allowed politicians to share the dais in their meetings, nor allowed them to attend the meetings with the government.
The truth is that politicians in both India and Pakistan are largely discredited.
In Pakistan, both the main opposition parties, the PPP led by Bilawal Bhutto, and the PMLN led by Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam, are known to be highly corrupt. I have given details about the corruption of the Bhutto family in my article published on Naya Daur Media earlier. Bilawal himself spent most of his life abroad, is immature and has hardly any link with Pakistan. His only credentials are that he is the son of his mother Benazir and his father Asif Zardari known as Mr. 10%.
I have also detailed the corruption of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam in my article published here.
In the above article I have also mentioned Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, another leader of the PDM, who is a well-known opportunist.
Thus, all the leaders of the PDM are discredited. How can the people of Pakistan genuinely support the movement led by such discredited motley group of persons who were earlier at each other’s throats, and are today only united as they are out of power ?
On the other hand, the Kisan movement is not led by Indian politicians – who are largely discredited like their Pakistani counterparts. It is led by farmers’ leaders against whose integrity no one can lift a finger. This is why it has received genuine, widespread support: not only from farmers, but also from lawyers, intellectuals, industrial workers, etc. Many ex-military persons and others have returned the medals and awards given to them in support of the farmers. It has cut across caste and communal barriers, and has become a widespread people’s movement, which is likely to prove historical.
Hence I venture to submit that while the PDM movement in Pakistan is likely to fizzle out, the farmers’ movement in India will be a turning point in our history.
Markandey Katju is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India. He was also the Chairman of the Press Council of India.