Why Burari ground fails to attract protesters?

New Delhi: As thousands of farmers continue to rally at three interstate border points of Delhi, they have steadfastly refused to accept the government offer to hold their proposed protest against the three farm laws at Burari ground in north-west Delhi.

The farmers are adamant on rallying either at the Ramlila Maidan or the Jantar Mantar in central Delhi to voice their demands.

So, why are the farmers reluctant to got to Burari ground, also known as Nirankari Maidan, to hold their protest?

The reason is elementary, so to say. It is the location that has prevented Burari ground from offering itself as a protest site over the years. Those fighting for a cause feel that Jantar Mantar and Ramlila ground are better options if their voices are to be heard by the powers that be.

Jantar Mantar — located in the city’s heart and only around 2 km from Parliament — is the much desired protest site though it can’t handle very large crowds. On the other hand, the Ramlila ground can handle a much larger crowd in central Delhi. Compared with the two, Burari ground is situated at the far outer edge of Delhi and hence is down on protesters’ preferred venues.

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Way back in 2011, Delhi Police had offered the Burari ground, situated on the Delhi outskirts as we move towards Mukarba Chowk, as a protest site to social activist Anna Hazare for his proposed hunger strike. But it did not happen. Anna later organised his sit-in at the Ramlila ground that lasted 12 days and witnessed swarms of supporters who rallied around for his cause.

The Ramlila ground was also the venue for yoga guru Swami Ramdev’s indefinite hunger strike in June 2011 over his demand to bring back black money stashed in tax havens abroad.

Many prominent political rallies and swearing-in ceremonies have also been held at the Ramlila ground and it remains the preferred location for those who want to gather large crowds.

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On the other hand, Jantar Mantar has been preferred by those who demanded justice for Nirbhaya, voiced demand for ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme for defence veterans, and even fought for justice for Hathras case victim recently.

So, protesting farmers are reluctant to move to the Burari ground as they fear that they will not be under the spotlight. Many think that their demands would be better heard if they protest either at Jantar Mantar or Ramlila ground.

That’s why only a few hundred farmers moved to the Burari ground on Saturday while thousands of others decided to stay put at the Delhi-Haryana and Delhi-UP borders.

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