NEW DELHI: In a show of strength, thousands of farmers chanting ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ on their tractors entered the national capital on Tuesday on the country’s Republic Day.
“I have done farming all my life. My father was a farmer too. We are here to get our voice heard. No power can stop us because that is our right,” said 60-year-old Rajveer Singh, who came from Nagina village in Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh, and has been staying at the Ghazipur protest site for the past week.
The Ghazipur-Delhi border is the third major protest site of the farmers protesting against three farm laws. The border has become a hub of protestors mostly from Uttar Pradesh.
On Tuesday, as soon as the morning fog lifted, preparations began for ‘Kisan Kranti Yatra.’ Showcasing his tractor-tableau decked up with sugarcane sticks, a field cultivator, an old rusted pump set for the tractor parade, Ram Kumar from Shamli reached the Ghazipur protest site on Monday.
“They (government) are talking about Rafael, tanks and missiles on the Republic Day parade. I want to show those people sitting in high offices all that is the result of work put in by farmers. No one in the government is listening to us. For the last few years, I have had to sell my sugarcane crop at a loss the payment of which comes very late. This has to change,” said Kumar.
On the bright sunny day after having a breakfast of ‘halwa’, Vipin Balyan from Muzzafarnagar gave some final touches to his tractor, which has become a local attraction with many passersby clicking selfies. Strings of marigold flowers, tricoloured balloons, and other decorations were put up by the farmer.
“I am waiting for the tractor ahead of me to move. Although the police have allowed our tractor rally, there seems to be some delay. Permission or not, we will march into Delhi,” said Balyan.
Passing through encampments set up on the Delhi-Meerut expressway, one could hear announcements being made to keep moving in orderly manner towards the barricades, as Hindi patriotic movie songs filled the air.