Protesting farmers observe 'Pagdi Sambhal Divas'; Tikait says will gherao Parliament

Called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), the day-long event was inspired by the "Pagdi Sambhal Lehar" of 1906.

Published: 24th February 2021 01:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th February 2021 01:21 AM   |  A+A-

Indian farmers help each other wear turbans as a sign of pride in their protest against new farm laws, at Ghazipur, on the outskirts of New Delhi. (Photo | AP)


NEW DELHI: Donning traditional turbans and singing songs of the peasant movement, farmers protesting at Delhi borders against the three agri laws on Tuesday marked the "Pagdi Sambhal Divas".

Called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), the day-long event was inspired by the "Pagdi Sambhal Lehar" of 1906.

"At that time also, the government had passed three anti-farmer laws against which the peasant movement started and it was successful. The unity of the farmers proves that this movement will also be successful," an SKM statement said.

Once turban used to be pride of the farmer, but the government has forced farmers to use turban for hanging, farmer leaders said, adding that the day was observed to "express their self-respect".

At the Singhu border, cultural programmes were held, which were attended by the family members of the revolutionary Bhagat Singh, including his nephew Abhay Sandhu.

While addressing the farmers, Sandhu said he would observe a fast unto death if the government did not accept the demands of the farmers by March 23 (Bhagat Singh's death anniversary).

Farmers also celebrated the birth anniversary of nationalist and peasant leader Swami Sahajanand Saraswati, by recalling his role in nation building and mass movements.

ALSO READ | UP farmers to observe fast, send messages to PM till demands are met: RKMS chief

At Tikri border, several farmers, largely from Karnataka and Telangana, arrived to join the movement.

"The government repeatedly rejects this movement by calling it a movement of a particular area, rather this movement belongs to the farmers across the country," the SKM statement said.

"Pagdi Sambhal Divas" was also observed in Nandurbar in Maharashtra, and Bhiwani in Haryana.

Thousands of farmers from different parts of the country, including Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at multiple Delhi borders against the three farm laws, which they are afraid, will do away with the Minimum Support Price system, leaving them at the mercy of the big private corporations.

While the government has been projecting the laws as agricultural reforms, farmers have been demanding the repeal of the three legislations.

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said on Tuesday that if the Centre does not repeal the three new agriculture laws, the protesting farmers will gherao Parliament.

He appealed to farmers to be ready as the call for 'Delhi march' can be given at any time.

Tikait was addressing the Kisan Mahapanchayat of United Kisan Morcha in Sikar, Rajasthan Tuesday.

ALSO READ | Farmers of Punjab, Haryana will be devastated by closure of 'mandis': Yogendra Yadav

"This time the call will be for Parliament gherao. We will announce it and then march towards Delhi. This time 40 lakh tractors will be there instead of four lakh tractors," he said.

Tikait said the protesting farmers would plough the parks near India Gate and grow crops there.

Leaders of the United Front will decide the date to gherao the Parliament, he added.

He also said there was a conspiracy to malign the country's farmers on January 26, when violence had broken out in the national capital during their tractor parade.

"The farmers of the country love the tricolor, but not the leaders of this country," he said.

Tikait said farmers are openly challenging the government that if it does not repeal all three contentious agricultural laws and does not implement the MSP, then the farmers of the country will also demolish the godowns of big companies.

ALSO READ | Haryana farmers destroy crop in protest against agri laws

The United Front will also give a date for this soon, he said.

The mahapanchayat was also addressed by Swaraj movement leader Yogendra Yadav, National Vice President of All India Kisan Sabha Amra Ram, National General Secretary of Kisan Union, Chaudhary Yudhvir Singh and others.

Earlier on Tuesday, Tikait also addressed a farmers' gathering at Sardarshahar in Churu district.


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