Other States

A new narrative is being attributed to farmers’ struggle, says actor-activist Deep Sidhu

Surrounded by controversy after he was seen in the crowd during the hoisting of a “religious flag” at the Red Fort on Tuesday, Punjabi actor-cum-activist Deep Sidhu has said attempts are being made to create a new narrative surrounding the ongoing struggle that the movement is threatening the country’s unity and integrity, which is not true.

Mr. Sidhu had been a close associate of BJP Lok Sabha MP from Gurdaspur Sunny Deol and had campaigned for him during the 2019 Lok Sabha election. However, last year when he joined the farmers’ protest against the farm laws, Mr. Deol distanced himself from him and his activities.

After the “flag hoisting” episode, Mr. Sidhu in a video message on his Facebook page said “when for a long period the sentiments of people are ignored and such protests are underway then the anger flares up. What happened today was the result of such anger. In such a situation, it’s not right to blame any one person,” he said.

Mr. Sidhu said the flag ‘Nishan Sahib’ was hoisted at the Red Fort as a symbolic protest against the farm laws. “We also hoisted a flag of farmers’ union Kisan Mazdoor Ekta. But we didn’t remove the Tricolour. We hoisted the flags to show unity in diversity. We have not raised any question on the unity and integrity of the country. No one has given any instigating speech. What happened today shouldn’t be seen in isolation. It happened in a continuation of protests going on for the past several months,” he said.

“The incident [flag hoisting] was not planned. It just happened in the flow of the protest.”

Mr. Sidhu said the farmers have come to Delhi only to stage a symbolic protest and not to hurt anyone or damage public property. “They should not be described as fundamentalists, communal elements or hardliners. We had peacefully protested and exercised our right.”

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 3:18:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/a-new-narrative-is-being-attributed-to-farmers-struggle-says-activist/article33670334.ece

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