Singhu Border/New Delhi: Fifty-four-year-old truck driver, Devender Singh travelled from Pathankot to Singhu border to express his solidarity with the ongoing Farmers’ Protest. Stationed at the protest site, he mentioned that he has opted to put his regular job on hold for the time being to participate in the ‘Tractor Parade’ on Republic Day.
Speaking about the need of the rally, he stressed, “By organising the tractor rally we want to draw lines between what’s true and false before the world. We want to tell everyone that we are farmers, not terrorists. We have come out on the streets to highlight our plight. We want a peaceful tractor rally. This will strengthen our movement and also propagate the message of farmers’ unity.”
Despite Delhi Police permitting Farmers’ unions for the rally with a word of caution on Sunday, farmers are excited for the tractor parade under the leadership of Kisan Ekta Morcha, an umbrella organisation of over 40 farmer unions.
However, with the police alleging that over 300 Twitter accounts had been created in Pakistan to create unrest at the tractor parade, over 40 thousand police, CRPF and ITBP personnel are going to be deployed at Ghazipur, Singhu, Chilla and Tikri borders and the surrounding area of the national capital, to maintain law and order when the tractor parade happens.
“We want to have a peaceful but strong agitation which can force the government to roll back the controversial farm laws. Our peaceful protest so far has been a befitting reply to this government which has been ignoring our demand for the past two months. These laws are not for farmers but to benefit handful capitalists. The spark from Punjab has ignited a revolution across the country. People are going to remember the Kisan Tractor Parade for long,” said Santok Singh Sindhu, committee member of Kirti Kisan union while speaking to eNewsroom.
Anguish over false propaganda
On being asked about the allegations of the farmers’ movement being funded by anti-nationals and the possibility of some unrest being triggered by Pakistan during the R-Day tractor parade, farmer Seva Singh, who hails from Faridpur, maintained that the allegations were false. “This is propaganda being made by Godi Media and the government to weaken our movement. It’s the farmers’ family that has been contributing money to support this movement. Let me be clear, the movement has absolutely nothing to do with foreign or illegal funding,” said Seva, while preparing food at a protest site langar along the Singhu border.
The anger over a section of media was evident, as Fatehgarh’s Gurpreet Singh, has gone a step ahead with displaying the logos certain TV news channels logos and pictures of certain anchors plastered over his trolly. Pointing at those, an anguished Gurpreet, said, “We are farmers, but these channels and reporters try their best to defame us regularly. They even label the hands that feed the nation as those of terrorists, anti-nationals and Naxalites etc. This Godi media is sold out.”
Angry with allegations being levelled on the farmers, Vikas, a farmer from Panipat alleged, “All this has been engineered by PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah because this farmers’ agitation has become a national movement.” He further questioned, “Modi ji should stop and think – the bread that he eats, reaches his table because of the farmer. But both the saffron party and his Godi media is busy defaming our movement.”
Last week, Jaskaur Meena, a BJP MP from Dausa, had called the protesting farmers’ terrorists. “Terrorists are sitting there and the terrorists have AK-47 with them. They have pitched the Khalistan flag,” she said.
Overwhelming Support and NIA notices
Known for its humanitarian relief work, Khalsa Aid India has been regularly providing essentials like food, water, clothes, mattresses and sanitary items to the protesting farmers.
“We have also set up shelters and washing machines at various protesting sites along the Delhi border. We have installed RO water purification machines to contain the menace of packaged drinking water bottles,” Amarpreet Singh, director of Khalsa Aid told.
Over the National Investigation Agency (NIA) notice to them, Amarpreet said, “We got notice as a witness in a third-party case. We have been doing relief work in India for several years now, but we never got such a notice. However, today when we are standing next to our farmers, we have got this notice. We are cooperating with them. Even we don’t want any miscreants to join this protest.”
Besides Khalsa Aid, Life Care foundation provides medical assistance round the clock to the farmers.
“Here we are providing all kinds of emergency health services. A team of professional doctors and paramedical staff is available 24X7. We will be here till the movement is on to provide all kind of medical support,” said Sadiq Mohammed, a member of Life Care.
Women comrades in the ongoing protest have been an interesting add on. Sixty-five-year-old Pal Kaur from Tarn Taran Sahib districts, while preparing the langar food, explains why the women joined the movement.
“Our people have sacrificed their lives for this country’s freedom. We have come here for our right,” Pal said.
Extending her full support to the farmers, Dr Uma Gupta, of Delhi University said, “No law is above the people of this country. The government should understand why the farmers of this country are on roads. It seems the government’s intention is not right.”
One demand: Laws must be withdrawn
Questioning the government’s proposal to suspend the controversial laws for one and a half year, farmer Jagmeet Singh Pullar from Sri Muktsar Sahib district of Punjab said, “We haven’t gathered here for temporary solutions but its complete withdrawal.”
“Many farmers have been martyred on this protest site. We don’t know how many more lives this government wants to be martyred before listening to us,” said an anguished Jagmeet.
Raising slogans against the Modi government, Harvinder Singh Patiala said, “Modi government is imposing a capitalist agenda. This is not just the farmers’ issue but everyone’s issue.”
Citing that crores of farmers are associated with farming and the country’s economy depends on agriculture he asserted, “laws are not in our favour. We won’t go back until these laws are not withdrawn. For this, we are even ready to sacrifice our lives.
Determined to win
Hailing Guru Nanak Dev ji, Gardar Singh, a kabbadi sports person from Punjab said, “Our win is sure.”
While, 70-year-old Satvir Meena from Haryana’s Sonipat said, “This Modi government will bow down before us soon. It is evident from the history whosoever fought with the farmers had lost his credentials.”