Saturday, December 3, 2022

HomeFarmers on long march for D-day

Farmers on long march for D-day

Trails of tractors dot highways across the state as the long march to “reclaim the republic”, as farmers call it, has begun. They move in groups or as solo “warriors” — all headed to join the Republic Day tractor parade in New Delhi.

Langars are commonplace along highways albeit it is not a festival or “shaheedi divas”. “This is a celebration of struggle,” quips Gurvinder Singh, a farmer from Saneta village in Mohali as he fries bread fritters. Even the colour of the fritters is green. “This is the colour of our fields,” he adds.The youth club of the village has collectively put up a langar for the Delhi marchers. Forget the count, he doesn’t even hazard a guess about the number of marchers they have fed since Sunday morning.

“We have consumed 500 packets of bread and 15 canisters of ghee,” he says, adding they have served langar of “kheer” at Singhu for days.

The tractors started leaving for Delhi on Thursday. While the Delhi Police estimate 70,000 to 1 lakh farm machines on its border, farmer organisations assert it is much higher.

The sight of never-ending trail of tractors is hard to miss. “I have never seen anything like this before,” says Roop Singh, a shopkeeper near Raipur village on the Banur-Landran road. The number on Friday and Saturday was much higher, he adds.

Manjeet Singh from Ballowal Sonkri village in Balachaur left on his Swaraj-855 tractor in the afternoon along with 10 others. “I am moving a little slower. My companions have already crossed Ambala,” he says as he takes a short langar break. His co-travellers say they have every equipment to remove the barricading. “This is the final battle,” he asserts, his hands on the wheel.As the sun disappears below the horizon, the march continues amid the sound of blaring speakers: “Pind-pind vich bharo traliaan, hun gall ni banani Canter naal; Hun pecha pai gya Centre naal,” (Hop on to trailers as Canters aren’t enough, for we are at war with the Centre).

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