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Saturday, 12 December 2020

After tepid response, numbers swell

Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11

The number of farmers protesting at the Tikri and Singhu borders continues to swell by the day, even as 40 organisations from the state have lent support to the agitation.

Farmers from Punjab still comprise a larger chunk of the protesters — more than 60 per cent of the total — while those from Haryana are making up for the initial lukewarm response. Their participation is fast increasing. More than 20 per cent of the protesters are from Haryana.

Prahlad Singh Bharukhera of the Haryana Kisan Manch said, “Farmers from Sirsa and Fatehabad were the first to protest against the farm laws as they held a ‘pakka morcha’ outside Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala’s residence in Sirsa on November 4. Later, farmers from Ambala, Kurukshetra and Karnal joined their Punjab brethren for the Delhi march.”

He further said farmers from the Jat heartland of Rohtak, Sonepat and Jhajjar were hesitant to join the protest initially as they apprehended a repeat of the 2016 Jat agitation. But as it became clear that the protest was peaceful, they lent support.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Charuni) continues to be the single largest organisation from the state participating in the protest.

Others organisations at the forefront are the Haryana Kisan Manch, Bharatiya Kisan Mazdoor Union, Kisan Sanghrash Samiti, BKU (Ghasi Ram Nain), Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, All India Kisan Sabha, Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Mahasabha and All India Kisan Mazdoor Sangthan.

Some of these organisations have a statewide appeal, while others wield influence in districts and blocks.

Rajender Arya of the Haryana Kisan Mazdoor Naujawan Union said: “The Delhi march evoked a tepid response from Haryana. But once the farmers from Punjab laid siege to the Delhi border, the participation from Haryana started increasing. Now, farmers from across the state are heading towards Singhu and Tikri.”

Bharukhera said Haryana’s representation was more at the Tikri border than at the Singhu border.

He further said the unique feature of the protest was it was not centered on one person. “There is no single hero. The 1988 farmers’ protest at Boat Club had Mahendra Singh Tikait as its hero and the 2011 anti-corruption movement had Anna Hazare. But in this protest, people have emerged as the hero.”

This is the reason organisations have not deviated from the single-point demand of revocation of the laws.

from The Tribune

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