Collective wisdom must prevail over individual understanding in any public movement, activist Yogendra Yadav said on Friday as he accepted the Samyukt Kisan Morcha's decision to suspend him for a month after he visited the family of a BJP worker killed in the violence at Lakhimpur Kheri.
Mr Yadav has been barred from attending the meetings of the Morcha -- a conglomerate of 46 farmers' unions protesting against the centre's new farm laws -- and being a part of the front's decision-making for a month.
In a statement he shared on Twitter, Mr Yadav has said he respects the Morcha's collective decision-making process and accepts the punishment handed out to him.
I respect the decision taken by SKM & gladly submit myself to the punishment awarded.— Yogendra Yadav (@_YogendraYadav) October 22, 2021
Farmer Movement has emerged as a beacon of hope for India. Maintaining unity of this historic movement & its collective decision-making process is the foremost need of the hour.
My Statement: pic.twitter.com/d6uFbDF7eh
He added that the farmers' protest has emerged as a ray of hope for the country and it is the need of the hour to maintain its unity and decision-making process.
Explaining his decision to visit the family of BJP leader Shubham Mishra, who was killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, Mr Yadav has said "sharing the grief the everyone, including our adversaries, draws upon humanitarianism as well as Indian culture".
"As a policy, I have believed that expressing such sentiments do not weaken but actually strengthen any mass movement. Naturally, not everyone in the movement shares this understanding. I do hope that the present occasion triggers a constructive dialogue on this delicate issue," Mr Yadav said in his statement.
Stating that collective wisdom must prevail over individual understanding in any public movement like the farmers' protest, he said he regrets "not consulting my colleagues in SKM" before deciding to visit the BJP worker's family.
Signing off, Mr Yadav said he accepts the punishment awarded to him and will continue to work, "more diligently than ever, for the success of this historic farmers' movement".
Mr Yadav was suspended after several farmer organisations demanded action against him. Manjit Singh Rai, president of Bhartiya Kisan Union, Doaba, told NDTV yesterday that 32 farmers' unions are on the same page on the issue and they also want a public apology from Mr Yadav.
Four farmers were run over in Lakhimpur Kheri, allegedly by Ashish Mishra, the son of Union minister Ajay Mishra, during a protest earlier this month. Violence and arson broke out soon after, in which four others were killed.
Ashish Mishra was arrested on October 9, five days after he was named in a murder case. Four more people have been arrested in connection with the case.