Martyrdom Day observed to honour farmers killed during farm protest

Our belief and morale courage has become stronger than ever, says farmers

Politics

December 21, 2020

/ By / New Delhi

Martyrdom Day observed to honour farmers killed during farm protest

Farmers say that those who have sacrificed their lives as part of the ongoing protests have set an example for thousands of others (MIG Photos/ Varsha Singh)

A day-long event, to mark the deaths of over 25 farmers who have been killed since the farmers began protesting against new farm laws, was organized at Singhu Border which has been home to over 100,000 farmers from Punjab and Haryana.

“The farmers who have sacrificed their lives as part of the ongoing protests have set an example for thousands of others. Instead of breaking our morale or creating fear or worry in our minds about the future, it has reinforced our belief in our fight and that the fight is just and we will continue to fight for our rights and livelihood until we win this battle,’’ says Harpreet Singh, a farmer from Golu ka Mod village in Ferozepur in Punjab.

“We know that those in power are often hard of hearing and blind to the people’s pain and misery, so we are prepared for a long-drawn battle here. The deaths of our brother farmers as part of this protest will not go in vain and we will not move from this place until the government accepts all our demands and repeals the Acts that we have been opposing,” says Balwan Singh, a farmer from Panipat in Haryana, about 50 km north of Singhu Border.

“Today, our entire programme here is dedicated to the martyrs and we have been paying homage to them right through the day. We have had over 70 speakers from all over India and every one of them highlighted the sacrifice and called for a reinforcement of the movement,” Ranjit Singh Ratainda, president of Bharatiya Kisan Union unit of SBS Nagar in Punjab, who was managing the event at Singhu border, tells Media India Group.

“A special programme was organised in all the Gurdwaras in all villages of Punjab and Haryana at 11 am today in honour of the farmers who laid down their lives during this protest. Today was the day for us to reach out to people of India with our message that we are not here as terrorists, we are not threatening anyone, we are just fighting for our rights and in that battle, we will not bend or bow till our demands are met. This message has reached every village,” Ratainda tells Media India Group.

The anger and zeal is seen practically everywhere at Singhu, even among women and children. “I am here to serve the people who are here to fight for their rights. I want to appeal to Modi to withdraw the black Acts so they can go back. Till they are here, I will keep coming here,” says Gurkirat Singh, a 6-year-old boy from Delhi says while serving chapatis at one of the several langars (community kitchen) set up at Singhu border.

Gurkirat is part of a group of nearly a dozen children who have gathered at this particular langar and have been working all day ion serving the 25,000-odd people who are served three meals a day and tea all through the day.

Hundreds of women are also present at Singhu border, in support of the farmers. The women say that they are sure of victory and know that the protestors will not give up until they have achieved what they set out for, a total repeal of the farm laws.  “Modi must remember that the Khalsa does not step back in face of injustice and oppression. He should read the history and see how often the Khalsa forces have taken control of Delhi and today we have been blocked here, as the government is hoping that we will give up and go back. But the Khalsa will not give up and we women will also stand here in protest against this grave injustice,’’ says Gunwant Kaur, who has come from Tilak Nagar in Delhi to participate in food preparation at the langar.

Harpreet Singh at Singhu border with a letter to Narendra Modi’s mother (MIG photos/Varsha Singh)

Harpreet Singh says that as he has been unable to get an audience with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the ongoing protest against farm laws, he has written a letter to Modi’s mother, Heeraben Modi, complaining about Modi.

“I felt the need to write this letter because, since it is our country’s tradition that whenever a child doesn’t listen to anyone, then we complain to its father or mother. We thought that since this government is neither listening to the farmers nor are they listening to anyone else or their MPs or ministers, but they will definitely listen to their mothers, because Modiji respects his mother a lot. Whenever he goes to meet her he takes the media along with him. That is why it occurred to me that why don’t we complain to his mother about the three laws that he’s passed because of Adani and Ambani,’’ adds Singh.

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