The farmer unions across Malwa belt in Punjab marked the festival of Dussehra by burning effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, corporate companies and multi-national companies in protest against the Central government’s three contentious farm laws.
Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) activists, including farmers, women, children, youths, elderly, labourers, artists and writers, participated in effigy-burning processions across the Malwa districts in the state in huge numbers.
Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, state general secretary, BKU Ekta Ugrahan, said that not only people from rural belts, but also those from cities and urban pockets participated in their protests to support the farmers as effigies of Modi and corporates were burnt as a symbolic protest against the Central government. He said that with the participation of people from different backgrounds and professions in Sunday’s protest, the entire Punjabi society stood united with the farmers in their fight.
He said that not only farmers from Punjab but also Haryana and Rajasthan participated in the massive protests against the Central government as effigies of Modi and corporates were burnt at several villages, towns and cities.
In Punjab, the protests were held in 42 cities/towns/villages of 14 districts on the call of BKU Ekta Ugrahan. At most places, villagers made effigies using photographs of PM and corporate logos, and set them on fire. Kokri Kalan said that despite the paddy harvesting and wheat sowing season going on, the protests against the Central government were only getting intensified by the farmers across Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.
On Sunday, the massive protest demonstrations were held at Patiala, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Fazilka, Faridkot, Ludhiana, Moga, Jalandhar, Muktsar and other districts as villagers made 20-30-foot tall effigies of Modi and corporate companies and then set them ablaze, comparing them to modern-day Ravana.
BKU Ekta Ugrahan state president Joginder Singh Ugrahan said farmers will now rest only after three farm laws are rolled back by the Central government. He said that BJP leaders are playing dirty politics on the issue and the latest example of it is the statement of BJP president J P Nadda in which he had purportedly called protesting farmers as ‘middlemen’. He added that Modi government is hellbent on destroying the agrarian fabric of the country. MSP and mandi system are the spinal cord of agriculture system of the country which this government wants to destroy but farmers won’t end protests till three laws are rolled back.
The union has also announced that they will be putting all efforts to make a nationwide bandh call a success in Punjab on November 5. Also, they will be participating in the national-level meeting of the farmers on October 26-27 in which more than 250 farm unions are expected to participate. They will decide the next course of protests against the NDA government.
30 farm outfits to take part in national meet
The 30 farm organisations of Punjab under the umbrella of Sanjha Morcha also announced Sunday that they will be participating in the national-level meeting of farmers on October 26-27 to decide the next course of action.
An online meeting of the representatives of 30 farm organisations was held on Sunday, following which they announced the decision to be a part of the national-level meeting.
Jagmohan Singh, general secretary, BKU (Dakonda), said that the farmers have already vacated tracks for movement of goods trains but now the Central government is playing a dirty trick by stopping goods trains in Punjab and putting a condition that passenger trains should also be allowed to run. He said that it was a step to suppress the farmers’ protest in Punjab but they won’t relent at any cost. He said that efforts were also on by the BJP to play Dalit card in Punjab by showing itself as sympathisers of Dalits and create a divide among farmers and Dalits but it won’t be allowed. He said that Dalit community is also standing strong with farmers in this fight and none can divide them on the lines of caste.
The farm organisations also issued an appeal to workers of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to come forward and “fail efforts of BJP to create a divide between farmers and Dalits”. Jagmohan Singh said that “Kisan-Mazdoor ekta will lay foundation of Punjab’s struggle against three laws”.