At the Rajya Sabha session today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that while the ministers have met with the protesting farmers, the latter is yet to tell the ministers about what they want. Interestingly, the farmers have been protesting for more than 100 days demanding one crucial thing: the repeal of the three farm bills.
On the other hand, while the “Indian nationals” are at war with international celebrities for their support of the farmers’ protest, the global momentum seems to be increasing. One such instance would be the Super Bowl ad featuring the farmers’ protest in India. To give a background, the Super Bowl is the championship match culminating the end of a National Football League (NFL) season. It is already a television spectacle, witnessing more than 100 million (10 Crore) viewers from the United States alone. This time, with the Covid-19 lockdown, the numbers are supposed to be bigger.
With amazing numbers backing it, the advertisement, shows, trailers and other such extras receive widespread attention than normal. This time, an advertisement featuring the farmers’ protest was telecast during the match.
United Nations-affiliated group United Sikhs — civil and human rights, humanitarian aid non-profit and disaster relief non-governmental organisation — tweeted that the ad would be broadcast in a local channel in Fresno, California. Even Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer released a video expressing his support for the movement.
However, other reports indicate that the advertisement had been telecast in other locations as well, but they are yet to be verified. Popular personalities such as Suchitra Vijayan — the author of Midnight’s Border and the founder and executive director of The Polis Project — and Canadian-Punjabi playback singer Jazzy B had shared the ad on their Twitter pages and expressed their solidarity with the movement.
Meanwhile, the Centre has been actively trying to find and close down Twitter accounts that are supporting are in solidarity with the ongoing farmers’ protest. Moreover, the BJP-led central government has also instituted a network shutdown in the protest sites, in a move that many are calling “anti-democratic” and “borderline fascist”. Yet, despite all this, our Prime Minister still makes statements as such as this, “Our democracy is not a western institution. It’s a human institution. India's history is filled with examples of democratic institutions.” Meanwhile, police and paramilitary forces are sent to the borders to deal with the protestors, while “nationalists” rally on Twitter to accuse the farmers of being terrorists.