Next to the main stage at Singhu border, where speeches were being delivered as usual, a large painting drew many eyeballs and selfies on Wednesday. The painting depicted the farmers’ protests and at the bottom of it sat Parveen Kumar (43), a disabled teacher of fine arts from Ludhiana, moving his brush in careful strokes.
Kumar, who teaches at a government college in Ludhiana, had travelled from home in his scooter with the painting he started at home. The scenes, both literal and metaphorical, are painted on a 28×6 feet canvas with acrylic colours, and have become a photography spot for many.
“I had started the painting 17 days back, and now I’m just giving it finishing touches. My father was a farmer before he moved to the city in search of a job. While I may not be connected to the farmers directly, we all have an indirect connection. If not for them, we would be sleeping on empty stomachs,” he said.
Kumar had polio in his childhood and now uses crutches to walk. About his painting, he said: “I have started from the time the farmers left their homes and had to face barricades and tear gas on their way to Delhi. There are also portraits of five farmers’ faces depicting the five states primarily represented here — Punjab, Haryana, UP, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.”
The bottom of the painting is dedicated to smaller scenes of farmers with their tractors, serving langar and food at the protest sites and raising flags.
It also features metaphorical imagery. “I have shown a crow stealing a roti, and the falcon stopping it. In this, the crow symbolises the corporate sector and the falcon the farmers. There’s another one in which a snake has a lizard stuck in its mouth, which it is neither able to swallow nor spit it out. That is supposed to be symbolic of the government’s attitude towards the farm laws; they are neither being able to implement it nor repeal it,” he said.
“I will go home after this and return with another painting soon. My painting will stop when the protest stops,” he said.
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