Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the farmers to end their agitation against the new farm laws while replying to the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address in the Rajya Sabha, the farmers are busy conducting maha panchayats to deal with the Delhi summers, tending to the freshly planted saplings, and creating playgrounds.
Paramjeet Singh Katyal of Jai Kisan Andolan led by Yogendra Yadav, said, “We are having meetings to make arrangements for summer. Orders for coolers and fans have been given, and we are planning to make pucca sheds because the tents will not help in Delhi’s summer.” Manjit S Rai, president BKU, Doaba, informed that today [Wednesday] will see two back-to-back meetings, “one for the 32 organisations from Punjab and the other for the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, where we will decide the further strategies”.
Last week, farmers at Ghazipur border had planted saplings in a reply to the barricades put up by the government. Rajan Jawla, LLB student and young farmer leader from Shamli in UP, said, “This was our message of peace. The government put rods in our way, we put flowers.” Lovedeep Singh Goraya, a volunteer at Tent City, Singhu border, said, “At the beginning of the agitation, when farmers had started coming towards Delhi, they had planted saplings and vegetables on the dividers and in the potholes on the roads. It was a message that they can do their work even if not home.”
Meanwhile, farmers seemed hurt by Modi’s speech. “Modi called us ‘andolan Jeevi’, and what are they? ‘chanda jeevi’? The season of sugarcane has started already and we have not got any money from the mill owners, neither for the last season nor for this one. This is the reason farmers commit suicide. We don’t even earn what we have invested to grow the crop, and the government is saying the farm laws are good!” added Jawla, 21. “Modi ji ke toh jumle hi hote hain (Modi ji makes false promises),” said Rai, who hails from Hoshiarpur.
“On one hand, he is saying we cannot forget what Sikh fraternity has done for the country, and on the other hand, he is praising the laws and is not ready to take them back. If he is thankful to us, he should repeal the bills. He just wants us to end the agitation using these tactics,” added Rai. Meanwhile, people have started installing ACs in their trolleys. “Our fellows don’t like to sit idle. At Tikri, they have created a park on the roadside after removing the garbage dump there.
On the Singhu border, we have created five volleyball and badminton grounds after cleaning the garbage, and kids play in these courts every evening. Till now, cinema has tried to portray the youth of Punjab as drug addicts, but our youngsters have proved themselves and how much they love their country,” added Katyal.