Photograph by Nav Rahi

Petrichor

Team Karti Dharti
    

Write it, write
History counts its skeletons in round numbers
A thousand and one remains a thousand
As though the one had never existed.
- Wislawa Szymborska

Whenever a struggle is fought, it is fought keeping an aim in the mind. The aim fuels and leads the movement. Various farmer unions of Punjab had decided, in May 2020, that their main and bigger concern was economic. On October 27 2020, the farmer unions from all over India held a meeting at Gurudwara Rakabganj Sahib where they formed a coalition under the name Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM). A seven member coordination committee was formed to run this united front. The committee comprises the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee and representatives from various farm unions of Punjab. The demands of this economic struggle unite farmers, labourers and the consumer. The main demand of this movement is to get the government to repeal the three ‘farm laws’. Apart from this, legalizing the minimum support price, repeal of Electricity Bill 2020 and removal of anti-farmer clauses from the Environment Bil,l are also their demands.

Karti Dharti’s objective is to reiterate and emphasize the ambition and resolve of the movement. The movement is not just economical in nature but also an opposition to political particularism of the government. These protests have transcended the boundaries of  caste, religion, community, region and political division. There is no place for selfish communal extremism in the current struggle.

Whereas some self centred elements have left no stone unturned to dissipate the demands of people, on the other hand, the movement observed a Maha Panchayat at Jagraon on February 12. On February 16, Sir Chotu Ram’s birth anniversary was celebrated. Mahapanchayats at Chandigarh and Barnala on February 20 and 21 respectively, were organized. People enthusiastically joined these rallies and actively participated to demand their rights. While these gatherings instilled hope among people, participation and involvement of farm union and labour union leaders served as an answer, a pretty decent one, to the questions that were being raised whilst interrogating unions.

In Barnala, Joginder Singh Ugrahan repeatedly mentioned and brought up the issues of illegal detention of political activists. He announced the upcoming plan of action.

On February 23, Chaha Ajit Singh’s birth anniversary will be celebrated together by BKU- Ekta Ugrahan and SKM. On February 27, Ugrahan appealed to people to head to Delhi. When Ugrahan announced that Women’s Day on March 8 will be celebrated in Delhi, it took SKM leaders, who were present on the stage hardly any seconds to decide that the entire protest will observe and celebrate the occasion.

The Lok Panchayats that are taking place throughout Punjab have served two important purposes. First, various farm unions of Punjab have respected their differences and chosen to put them aside for the protests and show a united front. The second outcome is the consent and contribution of the people of Punjab. It is this partaking and unity that strengthens and fuels the leaders of our struggle. The courage to label Delhi police’s cases and government’s fury as ineffective stems from a faith that is sourced from lakhs of people who are standing together in this struggle.

Punjabi to English Translation by Gursahiba Gill