NEW DELHI: Riding on tractors and cars decked up with tricolour and various kisan union flags, scores of farmers from Haryana on Monday held a rally at the Singhu border protest site to boost the morale of the protesting peasants and show solidarity with the movement.
Many tractors, driven by young and old farmers from various 'khaps', arrived at the Delhi-Haryana border site, some loaded with music systems that played popular Haryanvi folks songs penned recently by local artists to capture the spirit of the movement against the three new farm laws.
Sonu Jaseka came from Chanauli village in Sonepat, along with his friend, was riding a tractor to show support to the farmers. "I came today to tell our farmers brethren that they are not alone. Attempts were made to defame the movement, and their morale was affected in a way after the January 26 incident. So, we have come to pump up their spirits," he said.
On Monday, the Delhi side of the Singhu Border saw sparse crowd of protesters while vociferous speeches denouncing the new farm laws and clarion calls to infuse new sense of solidarity after the Republic Day incident, dominated the Haryana side.
As farmer leaders and others took to the microphone to reaffirm their resolve in their fight that has now stretched to over 60 days. An overwhelming number of farmers are agitating at multiple Delhi border sites, seeking repealing of the new farm laws.
The tractor rally at Singhu border happened on the day of the Union budget and many women supporters were also seen sitting in the trollies raising slogans like 'Jo Bole So Nihal', 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan'. Several women supporters with their heads draped in green fabric, sat in the front rows among the crowd that listened to the speeches made at the main pitched tent.
Jashandeep Singh (28), a resident of Mohali, who left his private job, and wife and one-year-old daughter behind in his hometown, to join the movement from its early days, was ecstatic to see the tractor rally at the Singhu Border. "They do such activities almost every other day, but, today it's quite a turnout from people of Haryana. It's like a different kind of meeting of Punjab and Haryana today," he said.
Scores of tractors and cars, some carrying sugarcane stocks rallied one after the other in one file at the site, playing Haryanvi folk music and patriotic songs. Many clung to the rear side of tractors with one hand raised triumphantly in air, while a few other day perched on car window and hailed the farmers' fight.
The tractors and cars also carried the names of various khaps on a banner mounted in the front, like Dalal khap, Kharab khap, among others.
Randhir Singh (85), a farmer from Haryana, also addressed the gathering, said, "I have worked with legends like Mahendra Singh Tikait, and I know how Jat movement was weakened few years ago. What happened on January 26 was a conspiracy. It was not done by farmers, but all part of a smear campaign bring run to defame the movement."
Art works on walls themed on the movement and giant posters of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh mounted on a building, added to the atmosphere of excitement at the protest site, where the enthusiasm had ebbed sway a bit after the January 26 incident.