A makeshift ‘museum’ on Sikh culture and history has come up at the Singhu border overnight, with tableaus, placed on two open-air trucks, brought to Delhi by an artist from Mohali.
On Monday morning, several protesters, including children, gathered around for a glimpse of the new attraction. Each truck has 10 figures, depicting a particular scene. A small board is attached to the side of the vehicle explaining each.
One of the figures is of Baba Deep Singh, a Sikh martyr who waged war against the Pathans and continued fighting despite a fatal blow to the neck. Another figure depicts the life of Bhai Dayala, who was tortured to death during Aurangzeb’s reign.
According to the artist Parwinder Singh, the idea was to draw parallels between Sikh history and the current protest.
“The leaders depicted in the museum fought tyrannical regimes to preserve the sanctity of their religion and their cause. Farmers today are no less than warriors. Every day in this protest is like a battle, the only difference is that they are peaceful and will not harm anyone. Since I have set up the same in Mohali, it made sense to bring it here since more and more people will be aware of the Sikh tradition,” he said.
The ‘museum’ has been placed nearly 50 feet from the main protest stage.
“I have a museum in Mohali. I’m very interested in art and Sikh history and this is something I do for leisure. I decided that the Singhu border is a very important place to highlight that our religion has seen so many sacrifices. In fact, the sacrifices have not stopped. I hope it can resonate with people in the same way,” Singh said. Additions to the ‘museum’ are likely to be made.
The ‘museum’ is the latest addition that indicates the increase in scale of the protests. Since the start of the new year, more langars have come up along with several camping tents.
Farmers are self-sufficient in terms of supplies as well, from waterproofed roofs to blankets for the winter. “It has been clear since day 1 that we are here for the long haul. We will ensure that nothing comes in the way of that. We are getting milk supplies every second day from villages in Punjab. If we need anything else, we send the word,” said Gurdeep Singh, a farmer from Punjab’s Bhatinda.
The crowd at the borders has been rising over the past week, with more people from Punjab and Haryana expected to arrive ahead of Republic Day.
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