UK PM Boris Johnson Postponing His India Visit Good for India
Dated : 07 Jan 2021 (IST)
UK has never been a reliable friend for India. So when the United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson postponed his forthcoming visit to India, people in New Delhi must have heaved a sigh of relief. However, the motivated agitation by some misguided parties in Punjab may feel bad about cancellation of this visit. The not so United Kingdom of yore has been playing their great game on Kashmir and Khalistan since long.
Though in a great game of its own, New Delhi had invited the PM of Britain as Chief Guest for Republic Day Parade, right after Britain’s formal exit from Euro Union. Johnson had earlier given his assent to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade function on January 26. However, on Tuesday he postponed the visit citing the need to oversee the response of COVID-19 pandemic’s response at home.
Due to large numbers of protesting farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, camping at three Delhi border points – Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur – for the past 40-odd days, demanding repeal of three three farm laws and a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP), this visit of Johnson may have created some law and problems.
41 farmer unions have already held seven rounds of talks with the centre and the eighth round is scheduled to take place on January 8, failing which they have threatened to enter Delhi from the national capital’s borders and hold a “tractor rally”. The seventh round held on Monday remained inconclusive as no common ground could be reached on scrapping the three laws and providing a legal guarantee for MSP. While the farmers have stuck to their demand for repealing the agri laws passed by Parliament in its monsoon session last year. On the other side, the government has made its intention clear of not repealing the three legislation.
In this backdrop, the farmers have warned of intensifying their agitation. They are already making preparations for entering Delhi and holding a massive tractor rally on Republic Day. Their intention seems to be to embarrass the government and internationalise it even more on a day when India would be celebrating its 72nd Republic Day and the security agencies would be on highest alert.
Some vested elements may egg the farmers to try and enter Delhi and take out a tractor rally, the law-enforcement forces Just can not allow them to have their way. Skirmishes between the two sides and even violent clashes thus may not be ruled out. This is what is the intention of the great gamers sitting in UK and Canada and other places.
If violence and injuries take place and loss of property or lives also happen, this is sure to get highlighted in the media in the country and abroad.
A similar situation had arisen on February 24 last year when protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) were taking place and US President Donald Trump was in Ahmedabad on his first India visit.
The Shaheen Bagh protests were going on since December 2019 but it intensified a day before Trump landed in Ahmedabad on February 24 last year. Violent clashes broke out in Northeast Delhi when a head constable lost his life and a DCP was seriously injured.
The incident caught the attention of the international media which was present in the country in large numbers due to Trump’s visit.
There were chances of the same scenario arising during the visit of Boris Johnson. As it is, comparisons are being drawn between the ongoing farmers’ protests and the Shaheen Bagh agitation.
Thus the cancellation will prove a dampener for those planning anti India activities in guise of farmers protest as their tractor rally may not get as much publicity as it would have got had Johnson been present in the Republic Day parade celebrations.