Farmers are protesting for the last eight days against the new farm laws passed by the central government. Farmers are stick to the demand of scrapping of the controversial law. Farmers are quite active on twitter on this protest. Media is also divided in making narrative of this protest. Today twitter India is top trending with a hashtag #किसान_विरोधी_मीडिया which claims Indian Media as ‘Anti-Farmers’. More than 60 thousand people have tweeted using this hashtag till now.
This claim came after the negative coverage of the Protest by a certain chunk of media. The protesting farmers are against this group of media channels which they call ‘Godi Media’ or ‘Anti-Farmers‘. Farmers alleged these channels for creating a negative narrative of the protest. Some news channels are calling the protesting farmers as ‘Khalistani’, some are claiming the protest is sponsored by the opposition parties. But no one from these media channels are talking about the real issues farmers are raising.
Farmers are protesting on almost all the state borders of Delhi. But the blocking of roads are on the two, Singhu and Tikri, Borders connecting Delhi to Haryana. Farmers are on the borders with their tractors and trolleys and with all the daily basic needs. People from different backgrounds are supporting farmers in their demands and some people are also feeding them on the borders.
Two days back some people came to feed them biryani which made the ‘biryani’ again in the news after Shaheen Bagh. A video by TOI Delhi showing that people are being servced by Biryani at the protest site. The post says, ‘Biryani time at Ghazipur farmers protest spot’. After this, the word biryani was the twitter trend and social media user started connecting this to the Shaheen Bagh Protest. Which again made a controversial narrative(‘Anti-Farmers‘) of the protest which in a way, may have manipulated people’s thinking on this protest.
If you are following this whole protest, you must have watched a viral video posted by a Freelance Journalist Sandeep Singh. The video shows the anger of the farmers on the Aaj Tak Channel. Protesters denied talking the Aaj Tak reporter and chanted’Godi Media Go Back’ slogans. These slogans were once chanted by JNU students last year while the students were protesting against the hiked fees. Then also students denied talking to this chunk of the media because of their negative reports of the protest.
On Tuesday, Bilkis Bano, a 86 year old lady from Shaheen Bagh also known as Shaheen Dadi visited the protest site in support of the farmers. Her visit was portrayed by some people as a controversy. And after a few hours she was detained by the police.
Not only in the ongoing farmer protest, this chunk of media have always manipulated the real issues in many protests in the past. Some examples are Fee Hike Protests in JNU or the countrywide Anti CAA NRC protests. But this time farmers are more active than ever on social media, and they’re raising their concerns without fear. Even after the govt tried to push them back using water cannons and tear gas, farmers are getting more stronger.