‘We Know Why We Are Protesting’: Farmers Respond to Fake News
The Quint met the farmers at the Delhi-Haryana Singhu Border and spoke to them about fake news on social media.
Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
As farmers from Punjab, Haryana and other parts of India continue protesting against the new farm laws, they are being targeted by many on social media by means of misinformation, manipulated content and fake news.
The Quint met some of these farmers at the Delhi-Haryana Singhu Border and spoke to them about the misinformation being circulated online.
‘This Isn’t About Khalistan; We’re Here to Talk About Farmers’ Rights’
Reacting to accusations that ‘Khalistani slogans’ are being raised at protest sites, Gagandeep Singh, a farmer from Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab told us that those sharing false information on social media should think about the farmers.
“Here, no one is talking about any party or any groups. This is about farmers and their interests and that is why we all have come here. Before sharing false information on social media, we must think about how are we projecting our farmers before the world.”Gagandeep Singh, Farmer
Another protester, Akashdeep, who has been camping at the Singhu border since 25 November says that it is an attempt to discredit the farmers.
“Those who want to say something wrong, will always say it. Have you heard any Khalistani slogans here? I haven’t. We’re camping here from 25 (November), we haven’t heard any such slogans. This is an attempt to discredit the protests. They want the attention to be diverted to something else,” Akashdeep said.
Undeterred By Fake News, Protesters Say They Know What They Are Protesting For
Several protesters told us that anybody who is claiming that the farmers are being misled and instigated must visit the ground and speak to them about the three laws.
“Farmers know exactly what they are protesting. If you come to Punjab and ask a kid, he would know what is happening to the farmers.”Gagandeep Singh, Farmer
Kuldeep Singh, another farmer at the protest said, “Why do they think we don’t know what we are protesting for? One farmer can be a fool, at max two can fall into a trap. But what about the 10 lakh farmers who’ve come here? Are they all fools?” he asked.
‘This is Not About Religion’
With hashtags like #FarmerProtestsHijacked trending on Twitter and claims pertaining to Shaheen Bagh protesters joining the agitation surfacing, the protesters told The Quint that the farmers’ protest isn’t about any one particular religion. They added that these attempts are being used to discredit the protests and the protesters.
“It has always been their strategy to divide people in the name of religion as they cannot stand the unity among us. If someone raises their voice, they try to suppress that voice. People are labelled as Khalistanis and Pakistanis, that’s not right.”Akashdeep, Farmer
Another farmer, Kamal Singh, added, “In this movement, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims, everybody is participating. Being a Muslim or a Sikh is not a definition of terrorism.”
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