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Saturday, January 23, 2021

At farmers’ protest, a cold and quiet new year

The farmers also prepared a palki (palanquin) for a nagar kirtan on January 1 to honour Guru Gobind Singh and his sacrifices.

Written by Jignasa Sinha | New Delhi | January 1, 2021 2:52:17 am
Farmers have prepared a palanquin for nagar kirtan on January 1 in honour of Guru Gobind Singh.

“There’s no celebration on New Year’s Eve for us this time — the government has still not repealed the new farm laws. Tonight, we will mourn the deaths of the 42 farmers who died during our movement against the Centre,” said Kashmir Singh (58), a farmer from Patiala, hours before the clock struck 12.

Singh, along with six-seven farmers, walked through the protest site at Singhu border on Thursday evening, singing kirtans. Though he misses his children, he said he won’t leave the protest site. The statement was echoed by several farmers, who said they will mark New Year as yet another day of fighting against the laws in the harsh cold.

Meanwhile, another group of farmers from the All India Krishak Khet Majdoor Sangathan marched towards the stage, shouting slogans against the Centre and farm laws. Among them was Jasbir (70), who hails from Punjab’s Firozpur and has been at the border for over a month. “I wish we were with our families in Punjab. It gets cold here and we work all day. Today, I helped make rotis for the langar. We want to go back home but the farmer’s protest is more important than our lives. If the Centre refuses to help us, we will be here next year as well,” she said. Three of her grandchildren are also at the site, working as volunteers with the Delhi Gurdwara Committee to help protesters with food and medicines.

The farmers also prepared a palki (palanquin) for a nagar kirtan on January 1 to honour Guru Gobind Singh and his sacrifices. “We don’t believe in celebrations today. Our brothers and sisters are making garlands and decorating the palki sahab with flowers. Tomorrow at 5 am, we will do a nagar kirtan. We will cover the 15 km of the protest site and come back,” said Randhir Singh (56), who lives in England with his family and flew down to Punjab to join the protest.

Randhir, who has been at Singhu border for 20 days now, said he will raise slogans against the kaala kanoon (black laws) along with other farmers.

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