NEW DELHI: The presence of women protesters was somewhat limited at the Tikri border on Tuesday, but their resilience was palpable. Neither have they forgotten Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut’s now deleted tweet on misidentifying an elderly protester, nor the remarks by CJI S A Bobde that why women and elderly were there at protest sites. Both were unacceptable, they say angrily.
“Women play a crucial role in shaping up politics. We are not scared of the government. Did the government ask us before grabbing our lands?” asks Baljeet Kaur, 70, who came almost two months ago to the border area from Punjab’s Bhatinda.
The lack of representation of women protesters in the mainstream media also irks them, adds Kaur. The other women in the group Pritam Kaur, 55, and Mahinder Kaur, 85 agree with her. “Also, when people ask why there are fewer women they should remember that women are juggling so many duties in the farm and home,” says Baljeet.
“Why will we not be angry? The government has snatched the ground from beneath our feet. What do we think about a roof? We are in the open now for two months,” says Jasvinder Kaur from Mansa in Punjab.
Navkitan, a schoolteacher who had come to Tikri to support the tractor rally, says it is her way of protesting against “dictatorship” in the country. “Our families earn their livelihood as farmers. I am a farmer’s daughter. I identify myself as a farmer. If we lose our farms, we have nothing to fall back on,” she says.
Dharmendar Kaur, a principal at a school in Punjab, said the government was grossly mistaken in imposing laws on its citizens. “Hence, everyone should protest,” said Dharmendar. Sukhvinder Singh from Barnala district says women would not go back from the site. “Women run the farm and home. We are here to claim our rights.”