Passing through the Farmers’ Movement 2020-21

Jashanpreet Kaur Sidhu
    
Navtej Bharti writes: Wherever I am, I’m at the borders of Delhi.

These lines speak to today’s collective Punjabi subconscious in a poetic way. After sowing wheat, the farmers' caravans have been camped outside the capital for the last three months since November 26, 2020. A lot had happened during this period. The barricades stopped, but the emotions crossed. As Babu Rajab Ali used to describe such a situation - the pampered children finally came down from the attic, the agile bodies jumped, and the skin endured the water-canon splashes. The tear gas shells were tackled by bare hands. The seasons changed, the wheat asked for first water, the guardians of the crops tended to them, and then returned somewhat permanently; more heads joined, the caravan grew. We slowly learned the ways of the social media world, and dampened the noises made by the parrots of the ruler. The movement was labeled that made our dissent more directed. It was a test and we passed with flying colors.
 
The union leaders were invited for meetings. They waited for hours in the government halls, and declined to eat the lunch offered to them. They carried their  langar-prasada or lunch with them. They asked simple questions - yes or no? The cabinet proposed amendments, but why come this far and return with half cooked arguments? These scenes passed through our hearts, minds, eyes and ears. If all the clauses are to be amended, then what is the need to maintain the structure of the law, what is the point? Perhaps, it is the king's reputation that is at stake. Everyone read, listened, watched, spoke, and thought about the historic uprising against this government failure. From the borders of Delhi, every village, office, hut, station, bus stand, religious places, social gatherings, every place got engaged in the same discussion. And everyone wondered - what hard-time, what difficulty, what challenge, what courage brought us here?

Broadly speaking, the reason behind this grand movement to have been the enactment of the Agriculture Ordinance in June 2020, which forcefully made laws by September. The country has been in lockdown since March due to the Corona pandemic. People living in their own homes were still speculating about the truth of the disease, because the only way to avoid it was to conspire so much that the man became afraid of the man, all of them were made sick by precautionary measures before falling ill. The real infected were treated as untouchables. The whole world economy began to shake. Plans of years scattered in weeks.
 
A plenary session of Parliament was convened. The whole earth was shaken. We are not out of the longi-latitudes. The country's growth rate has been negative at 23.9 percent, with the single sector agriculture growing at 3.4 per cent, a trend that has attracted the attention of large Indian investors.
 
The ground is prepared for private players to play freely, meaning it is brought under the legal framework. Protests have been going on in Punjab since the days when laws were just ordinances. People of Punjab sit on toll plazas, and then block railway tracks. State government said suggestively that there would be a shortage of coal, just a sweet threat of not getting electricity, but in the meanwhile the agitation got matured, the artists have joined. Shambhu gathering is held. The authors returned their prizes, heard the hint of resignation from the ministry, and so on.
“Delhi Challo” call was given for November 26. Reaching the capital, the outrage seems to have breached many barricades, filled in the gaps, merged the neighbouring states, merged into a united peasant front and the organizations seem to have taken the time and effort to bring it to this level. For a whole quarter now, our yards, our kitchens, our living, our cooking, melodies, excitements, worries, spirituality, pilgrimage, festive-days, have all been on the streets of Delhi. Let's verify (certify) our relationship with the people who are sitting on the highway in trolley-homes lined up.

The first question that kept popping up. Whose fight is this? Who will fight it? There is a rough answer - farmers. The issue is not so lonely, so every hot, tired, tired, stubborn, stubborn citizen is involved in this fight. Who are the farmers now? Those who cultivate the land, sow seeds and produce crops, but do not trade it. In English, we have different words for these two - Peasant (farm labourer) and Farmer (landowner). But the fear of losing land and unfixed price of crops should be with the landlord, not the carrier. In fact, the depth of the question also wants to ask what is the pursuit of this farmer, what religion, religion, caste, state and what language he speaks, what place does he have in the society? We have a question, we have to answer. Remember, there is an ear-ringer sitting on all the tones of our words, who wanders around looking for distances.
 
Rare is the support of the participants.There was a lot of discussion in this context. Sometimes expressing concerns over the red period of history, sometimes doubting the performance of the leaders, sometimes not welcoming the multicoloured fabric of the movement, etc. It is very important for the success of the struggle that they be addressed in a timely and clear manner, otherwise there will be a possibility of entanglement in the unaddressed, unthinkable, unsecured threads and this will be fruitful to the ambushing elements. Talks should continue, both with internal support and with the external power.
While the main issue is the repeal of the three agricultural laws, the Electricity Amendment Bill, the Environment Bill 2020 and the implementation of the MSP for commodities, yet  by Products can be witnessed meanwhile in the process of this protest. When the editor of a well-known Punjabi magazine asks what will come out of the front, the watchful eyes of love-town will see for themselves that from the peasant movement we have a legacy of labour, humility, patience, morality, help, coincidence, cultural and human commonalities are re-practicing.

 We are spreading from self to everything. We were able to talk about the good of all, but we are getting energized by seeing the reality of these practices. We are becoming eyewitnesses of such a grand fair, in which every age, class, religion, caste, gender is involved. Gender roles based on caste and class affiliations are crumbling. Equality is being served in Sangat-Pangat. A new political consciousness is emerging in the face of the prevailing dirty politics. Our world has widened, alliances have grown taller than rifts, heartfelt curiosity is giving rise to serious questions, conversations and entertainment content have standardized. Entertainment topics have become numb. The real enemy has been identified, and minor disputes have been settled out of court. According to Punjabi poet Tanveer, two farmers from his neighbouring village Bappiana, who were at loggerheads, went on strike and started speaking. "Delhi has lost, they have won the case." The hearts that are being cleansed, the emotions that are being purified, shouldn't all this be considered an achievement? 
                           ਗੁਰੂ ਅਰਜਨ ਦੇ ਕਹਿਣ ਵਾਂਗੂੰ
                           ਸਭੇ ਸਾਝੀਵਾਲ ਸਦਾਇਨੁ
                            ਕੋਇ ਨਾ ਦਿਸੇ ਬਾਹਰਾ ਜੀਓ। 
Being a transparent self, the other is also beginning to make sense. Abandonment of petty issues The whole cultural landscape that is being mobilized for a major ideological war needs to be decoded. To say to the ruler that your policies are not acceptable, of course, requires courage, the source of which is the partnership (brotherhood), which already exists in the peasant life; there is the concept of Siri-Sanjhi(Punjabi word for sharer). All the radiance belongs to AK, because there is no defeat while the brothers are alive, all the courage belongs to the brothers. Prof. Sukhdev Singh Sirsa writes ‘ballad of warrior’.

Now the brave hero needs brothers with him, not arms.
And Veer means not only brother, but also a warrior. Now that he has bowed down with his beard, according to the Waris Shah, when the field of love has come to a standstill, it will be considered bad for the warriors to shake their heads, whether it is faith or physical (physical) or responsibility, at any level, fugitive and enduring. Details will be kept.

The next point is how to fight here, what the strategy will be. First, this is not an armed war. This is the struggle waged against injustice, untruth, falsehood, which is still going on since Guru Nanak’s time and even earlier and it is directed towards the truthful. And this is a long journey towards Sachyar. The English word movement means to be in motion, to keep on moving. Because the struggle is long, because the fields are scattered, because the seasons are dry, because the enemy is big, so every small and big restraint is required in preparation, as langar Veer from Malerkotla used to say, “Now it is known that We have to stay, so we start using steel utensils, we will spend the same money on food grains, and with disposables, the problem will only increase for us.” People of soil, live a simple life. Those who worked with hands know how to eat and drink with palms. And when popcorn langar is given in dupatta while passing, it is believed that sustainable alternatives are being thought of. Only Power-eyes don’t like public understanding, public wisdom, and public awareness. So they have only one option left, to chase away the agitators, to dig a foot, to dig a hole there, but one thing is for sure, the house cannot go out without a secret.

So at the stage where the movement is at, not only the commander, but also the eagle eye of every soldier is needed, because during this period we got trained as responsible agitators. Leaders' communication with the agitators and people's faith in the leadership must be maintained at every possible cost, as the most important commitment now is to fight for the reduction of personal identities and the whole process at the center. One statement, one action, one decision, one tear now affects the whole movement. The movement is not a static thing; rather, it is a living dynamic phenomenon, the moves of which will continue to be talked about. Every turn is more complicated than before, each day will bring a different challenge from yesterday.

The answer to the above grievances has to be given in a disciplined manner. Examine every aspect, move forward with a lofty goal, including disagreements / differences, be it verbal, but in clear balanced language and respectful tone, do not lose the aesthetics of pronunciation. Now this struggle is of country, so it is not wise to pay attention to provincial, regional or regional constraints and unreal divisions like rural-urban, left-right, literate-illiterate, youth- aged etc. Let every man ask oneself if it’s any trembling. The government's intention is to spread fear among the agitators; it will show its strength and go so far as to call us self-defence violent. They have mercenary police, mercenary media, a lot of mercenary villages, they have the power to buy, but we have no intention of being sold. The events of January 26 were a calculated government ploy to derail us, to tear us apart, to disorient us. Every time the deceiver is not an outsider, sometimes he carries self-conceit like the hero of Peelu. Cheaply dismissing local real uprisings in the face of major  revolution’s dream calls into question our far-sightedness and commitment to philosophy. The incident once took everyone by surprise, those who felt it was inappropriate, their words were silenced, their morale was shaken, but even those who expressed temporary happiness began to tremble quickly, no valid argument came.

Well! This should be considered as the turning point of the route, where it was to be recognized that sometimes it is wise to choose the narrowest way, the green signal of open roads leads to evil. Have you forgotten the testimony of the young princes when they entered the state court through a small window, but with such a plan that they do not bow their heads, to solve the riddle of politics is how they have done it? Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person. The government's intentions were foiled and the situation was brought under control. Now is the time to consider Carstani as an opportunity to rethink the nature of the movement. It is now more profound, alert, conscious, serious, and alert. We understand the dialectical relationship of sensation (tears) with language (claims, slogans, speeches). Be careful! Beware! Now we have saved. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people.

                   Get up, don't snore.
                    You don't afford/need this sleep.
 
 Time will demand accountability these days from us. Before facing about to harvest crops, we must have something at hand, which we have to sow and collect. May a prosperous Vaisakhi come for all the farmers. High Spirits! Long live!
 
(Photo Credits: Avani Rai)