Makeshift-house, landmark of farmers protest, makes its way back home

Farmers say building relatable memories for future generations

Society

December 16, 2021

/ By / New Delhi

Makeshift-house, landmark of farmers protest, makes its way back home

Makeshift-house of Jitenderpal Singh and his comrades at Singhu Border (MIG Photos/Varsha Singh)

As protesting farmers withdrew from their protest sites across the country, including at Singhu Border, they took away with them some memorabilia to keep the spirit of the protest with them in order to teach the future generations about the unique protest that forced a strongman like Narendra Modi to backdown after 380 days of agitation.

The 13-month-long peaceful protest against the three farm laws ended only a few days ago, after a full 380 days spent by thousands of farmers on the borders of the national capital, New Delhi. Since the call by the farmers’ unions to suspend the agitation, the farmers have been buys winding up their temporary shelters and loading their belongings to take them back home.

But with feelings and emotions bottled up, it is hard to let go of certain things. They serve as reminders for the experiences one had to go through during the year-long protest. One such emotional attachment is a makeshift abode made of tin, straw and mud. The house that became an icon of the protest also served as a roof overhead for old farmers, to make their stay as comfortable as it could be for someone living on the streets. The house was built, bit by bit and entirely by hands by Jitenderpal Singh and his fellow protestors during the peak summer and has since served as an important meeting ground for many protestors.

The house which the farmers have called their home for over a year has witnessed a multitude of emotions whether be it of joy, sorrow, sacrifice or loss. The accommodation, even if it was temporary, was nothing short of a full-fledged house equipped with provisions for bathing, cooking, washing clothes and a proper wastewater disposable system.

The farmers living for more than a year in the house beautified it into a home by painting it with beautiful colours and designs that not only carried strong messages linked to the protest but also appealed to the eyes of the onlookers. A small garden was also created by the farmers, adding to the beauty, granting it the appearance of a small bungalow.

Now, with the protest over, at least for now, the farmers are keen to transport this structure back to their village so that it not only constantly reminds them of their struggle and the moments they shared with thousands of strangers, but also so that it can serve as a museum of sorts for the future generations about this unique protest.

“A lot of feelings are attached with this home. We have lived in this house, eaten inside it. We will take it with us for our future generations,” Jitenderpal Singh tells Media India Group.

Singh further adds that this will serve as a visual symbol impacting the upcoming generations deeply. “If we tell a story it impacts the listener, but if the listener sees a specimen it gives the onlooker a sense of pride. It’s like visiting a museum, seeing a weapon from the ancestors whether it be Maharaja Ranjeet Singh or someone else it gives a sense of history,” Singh adds.

He feels that this house will help future generations in relating with the protest which took place on the streets of Delhi for more than a year and to appreciate what their ancestors underwent for the welfare of the society.

With tremendous amounts of feelings attached to this piece of beauty, Singh and his comrades were unable to leave it behind or tear it down. Since, the house was foundation-less, with the help of a crane they lifted it and placed it on a trailer, carrying it with them as memorabilia and symbol of the protest.

The farmers will put the make-shift abode in their village in Mohali in Punjab for people to perceive it as a monument and generate a sense of respect for the farmers in their hearts.

 

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