And then I came back

Navneet Kaur, Uttrakhand
Read in Gurmukhi
I came from Uttarakhand 20 days ago with my sister and mother to join this movement. I could not go back after coming here. When my brother told me about these three agricultural laws at the beginning of this movement, I wanted to be a part of it ever since. The protest was going on peacefully till January 26. On January 26, when the people wandered towards Delhi and the entire media changed the face of the protest, there was a sad silence in Ghazipur after the events of the protest march of 26th January. In the evening some people were returning home from Ghazipur when my friend Rajpal Kaur (from Haryana) and I stopped them and asked them to stay in the protest and tried to explain that the protest would be weakened by their departure. But people kept going back for different reasons. And by night the number of the people was greatly reduced.

The day of January 27 also passed in the same speculation. Throughout the day, as propaganda against the protest continued across print, television and social media, the people of Ghazipur became more vigilant. Many people guarded the night, and we women also spent the night staying alert & awake. But on the evening of January 28, when Rakesh Tikait, the national spokesperson of the Indian Farmers' Union, spoke of surrender, there was a commotion at the site of the protest. Many saw the movement come to an end. In the midst of this turmoil, we and other women protestors were asked by their family members to return for security reasons. I wanted to stay here and fight with everyone for this movement and against the agricultural laws, but as per the instructions of the people present in the movement (for security reasons) I, my sister, my mother and some other people at around 7.00 pm moved from Ghazipur to Uttarakhand in a trolley. Everyone was silent on the way and the fellow passengers were instructing us to remain silent and not to tell anyone on the way about us being a part of the protest. But when we found out from some acquaintances at the Ghazipur border in the middle of the night that the protest would continue and Rakesh Tikait would not surrender, an old man in the trolley expressed his desire to return to Ghazipur and I also wanted to come back, so we asked the tractor driver on the way to let us board the Delhi bus. The tractor driver was reluctant to let me ride the bus at night. I told them that my mother also agreed to my return. Finally, on the way, the old man and I took the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation bus coming from Delhi and reached Ghazipur at 2.00 am. I was the only woman here that night. I have been here continuously since that day, and will continue to be, because more women will come here by seeing me and some more by seeing them. In this way our movement will move forward and the number and participation of women in it will also increase.