After the success of year-long farmer agitation against three contentious farm laws which now stands repealed, farmer and khap leaders of the region particularly from Haryana have intensified efforts for an organised stir against the Agnipath scheme of central government.
The khap leaders have called a meeting in Jind Tuesday to chalk out a common strategy against the scheme. Leaders of farmers, youths, students and social outfits have been invited to participate in the event. Another meeting will be held in village Garhi Sampla (Rohtak) Wednesday in which leaders of these outfits from Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have been invited.
Farmer and Khap leaders have taken the initiative to bring the different groups struggling against Agnipath on a common platform as most of the aspirants come from the rural areas including those associated with the agricultural activities.
Further, the farmer and khap leaders have learnt a lot during the farmer agitation to sustain a stir for long. There is a feeling among the farmer leaders that an organised and joint agitation is needed to keep the agitation non-violent.
Notably, the agitation against Agnipath in Haryana began from Palwal and Rewari which had minimum participation in the agitation against three farm laws. From these districts along with other parts of southern Haryana, a large number of youths prefer to go to the Army for job opportunities along with the sense of pride in becoming part of the armed forces. In the absence of adequate irrigation water, agriculture has not been as lucrative in southern
Haryana as in other parts of the state.
The agitator youths have apprehensions that they would lose the opportunities of regular jobs in the armed forces if the previous pattern of recruitment is not followed.
A farmer leader from Fatehabad, Mandeep Nathwan says: “This time the agitation may have larger scale as all sections of the society feel attached with the issue of national security. Apart from the farming community, the youths from other sections including labourers are also eager to join the armed forces. They don’t want to be part of temporary assignments in the Army.”