At a makeshift stall near the stage, where protesters raised slogans in between speeches, Chetan Sood (29) and his friends made free tattoos for youngsters who lined up outside.
Sood, who runs a tattoo studio in Ludhiana, joined the farmers’ protest on Friday with three other tattoo artists. In less than three hours, they made more than 18 tattoos.
“Our parents aren’t farmers but aren’t we all connected to them? The food we get on our plate is because of them. I want to give free tattoos so that more people join the protest and express their support for the movement,” said Sood.
Sood and his friends have decided to give free tattoos to protesters at the site “for three-four days”.
The tattoos depict Punjabi culture and farming through slogans and drawings, said the artists.
They have brought tattoo guns, inks, steriliser and control equipment, and are drawing power from generators used by shopkeepers in the area.
Karan (20), another tattoo artist, said most protesters chose to get crops, tractors or bulls as tattoos, while phrases – like ‘nischay kar apni jeet ko’, ‘Wahe Guru’ and ‘kar har maidan Fateh’ – are also common.
While the tattoos usually cost around Rs 3,000-4,000 at their studio in Ludhiana, they are free for the protesters.
Aman (23), a protester from Patiala, got a tattoo of a trolley and crops on his arm: “This is my first tattoo. I think it’s a good idea because this will stay with me forever. I live in a trolley (here) with my brothers and it’s not easy. This tattoo will remind me of this time.”
The stall also attracted curious eyes of elderly farmers. “I guess it would hurt a lot and I don’t want to go through that pain. It looks good but I guess it’s for young people. I like the tattoos with tractors and trolleys… it’s a good initiative,” said Sarbjit Singh (50), a farmer from Tarn Taran.