NEW DELHI: “Ye Tirange mai kesar rang Sikh hai aur Hara Muslim or ye safed aman aur samanta sab nagrik k bich (the saffron and green in our National flag are Sikh and Muslim and the white stands for peace and equality among all the citizens of this country),” says 62-year-old farmer Gyani Tarsem Singh from Punjab. Holding the National Flag, the elderly farmer says the ideals of India for him are “secularism, unity and equality.
Because of some miscreants, you cannot call us all ‘Khalistanis’,” he says. Tarsem Singh is protesting at Singhu border since November 27. “After someone hoisted the sacred flag of Sikhs at Red Fort, some people have started calling us Khalistanis and terrorists. The BJP government is spreading this propaganda to destroy our peaceful protest, but we are not falling prey to it,” he says.
Another farmer, who was also holding a National Flag, says, “To make a curry, you need different ingredients and our country is like that. People here come from different backgrounds, caste, colour and creed. Staging protest is our democratic right and this is a protest not only of Punjabis, but for the entire country. So, come, talk to us and solve our problem, or keep quiet.”
Meanwhile at Singhu border, where many farmers left the protest after the Red Fort violence, more woman farmers and locals are joining the cause. “My father, son, husband and brothers are here protesting since the Day One of this agitation. After the violence, our strength at Singhu border had decreased. Hence, we decided to step in,” said Ramandeep Singh from Ludhiana, Punjab.
“The farmers will not go from here until the government repeals the black Acts. If we go, then no one else will come forward to raise their issues,” she further said. Manjeet, a 28-year-old teacher from Indore, said, “Whether they are right or wrong, the government should at least come down and see what they want. If it thinks the law will be beneficial for farmers, then the government should explain it to them.”
Woman pour in to strengthen protest
At Singhu border, where many farmers had left the protest after the Red Fort violence on Republic Day, more woman farmers and locals are joining the cause. Hundreds of woman farmers and sisters and daughters of the protesting farmers poured in on Thursday to lent support. Around 30-40 women from each village across Punjab have reached the site in batches