Updated: February 9, 2021 1:04:14 am
Religious leaders from akharas in Uttar Pradesh Monday arrived at the Ghazipur farmer protest site to extend support to BKU’s Rakesh Tikait, taking the stage to say that the new laws are against the interests of farmers and the government must pay heed to the voices of thousands gathered at Delhi’s three borders.
“We have also written a letter to support him and his cause. This deaf government should understand that not just thousands of farmers, but lakhs of saints are also standing together. This is a very important movement and we all need to be together. What is happening here is god’s work and we will do everything in our capacity to take it further,” said Acharya Pramod Krishnam of Sambhal’s Kalki Foundation and Peethadhishwar of Kalki Dham. Acharya Pramod was also the Congress candidate from Lucknow constituency in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Clad in saffron robes, the religious leaders had also brought water from their respective akharas, which they offered to Tikait as a symbol of support. They said that this was a dark period for farmers, and divine intervention was required to challenge it. They also gifted Tikait a small ‘gada’ akin to the one carried by Lord Hanuman, and garlanded him amid chants and hymns. The popular chant Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram was modified with the phrase, ‘Modi ko sadbudhi de bhagwan (God give Modi knowledge)’, and chanted from the stage.
“The country is run by ‘rishi’ and ‘krishi’ and that is the only truth. At the Ghazipur stage, there are both representations today. The saints have always offered their help whenever there has been a crisis. From independence struggle to any other conflict, our community has offered invaluable support. I am honoured and everyone must remember that the farmers are here to stay,” said Tikait.
He also reiterated the October 2 deadline for farmer protests and said protesters need to gear up for the months ahead to stay for the long haul.
“This is a protest sustained by ourselves. We will get our own roti. We are not relying on those who try to deviate us by donating. There are a lot of ‘chanda’ masters but we don’t need their money. We need to take care of our villages and our homes at the border. The days are getting warmer and we should make changes to our homes here accordingly. We should also maintain cleanliness in and around where we stay. This is a long haul,” said Tikait.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines