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Lal Bahadur Shastri had given the slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ (Hail the Soldier, Hail the Farmer). This was in recognition of their contribution for national security and food security in the country. The point that was however missed out was the issue of ‘Jai Samman’. Being a part of the working class working towards protecting national territory or providing food security to the nation, both of them were missing on ‘Samman’.

Despite the slogan of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ the life of a Soldier and Farmer is devoid of a life of dignity. Farmers continue to remain in indebtedness, fail to realize good price for their produce, unable to come out of poverty, not able to see a change in their quality of life. The life of Soldiers continues to be isolated from their families. Tej Bahadur had brought up the issues of bad quality of food served to soldiers and corruption.

It is this realization among these segments that has made Farmers from Tamil Nadu and Telangana and Tej Bahadur, a Soldier deciding to contest the Lok Sabha elections against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The decision by Farmers and Soldiers to contest against the Prime Minister need to be seen as a fight for ‘Samman’ (life of diginity). Hence there is a need for a new slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Samman’.

The last few years have seen the name of ‘Army’ being used as a mere symbol for raising patriotic fervor without a real attempt at bringing a life of dignity to those below the officer rank. Similarly, despite the talk of ‘doubling of farmer income’, the last few years has only seen an increase in ‘farmer suicides’. It is perhaps this class consciousness that that they are merely being used as symbols of ‘holier than the cow’, just to depict their pro-farmer, pro-soldier attitude that they decided to contest.

This unique form of protest by ‘farmers’ and ‘soldier’, needs to be welcomed despite the electoral results, it may throw in. Working class has no boundaries. They have only to unite and nothing to lose except the chains.

This does make a sense on this International Workers Day.

Jayashubha is a Post Graduate in Organic Chemistry and follows Social and Political issues


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