Updated: December 12, 2021 7:11:24 am
Singing, dancing and cheering atop their tractor-trolleys, farmers on Saturday began their journey home from Delhi borders after dismantling their tents and other structures at the end of a year-long sit-in protest against the agri laws. They were given a rousing welcome with sweets, garlands, bhangra and langars in the neighbouring states.
Emotions ran high as the farmers performed prayers and havans to thank the almighty and set off towards Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in convoys of tractors, bedecked with colourful flowers and lights and blaring songs of victory.
DJs were arranged and speakers were installed on tractors that kept playing popular farmer songs. Bhangra, dhol and a variety of langars could be seen all the way. At Singhu and Tikri borders, farmers also played with colours before they started off for their respective states.
Jagish Phulan, a farmer from Phulan village in Fatehabad district of Haryana, said, “It was agitation against farm laws that brought the entire country together. In this one year, we came closer to each other and were known as a farmer community irrespective of our religion, caste colour or creed. Even the PM had to bow down before the strength of our brotherhood.”
While, Khalsa aid had hired an airplane to shower flower petals on farmers as they crossed Shambhu border in Ambala to enter Punjab, a cultural night with performance by Jagseer Jeeda was planned at Boha in Mansa district for farmers coming via Fatehabad district of Haryana.
Farmers will start their journey from Boha on Sunday morning to reach their villages by Sunday afternoon. Tractors sporting the national flag and the flags of farmer bodies were playing Punjabi songs of victory while frequent chants of ‘Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal’ rent the air. Preparations to welcome farmers have been made at different toll plazas and other places along the national highways. Youths and women performed Punjab’s folk dance ‘bhangra’ to the beats of ‘dhol’. At Khanauri near Punjab, villagers burst firecrackers amid a celebratory mood.
Meanwhile, after an accident on Saturday in which two farmers of Punjab died, a decision was taken to not drive during night hours. “A few farmers came via trains as well while a few who came via cars reached their homes. Rest who came via trolleys had a night stay at Punjab borders soon after crossing Haryana,” said Narian Dutt, from Inqlabi Manch Punjab who was at Boha grain market.
The first jatha of BKU Ugrahan reached Dabwali around 11am to cross towards Bathinda district. Gurpal Singh Singhewala, who was part of the first jatha of 20 people, said, “Several Delhi residents came to see us off when we were leaving. One retired Armyman even took a brick from our huts as a mark of remembrance of this morcha. Many Haryana residents also got from bricks from the site.”
Gurdeep Singh Rampura added that they couldn’t bring everything back. “We gave away the quilts, beddings, and clothes to the slumdwellers. The temporary settlements made of bamboo were left as it is so that nearby labourers can use that material for some purpose,” he said.
Farmers were welcomed at Hisar, Hansi and Ratia with jalebis, ladoos, burfi, pakore, kheer , halwa, sweet rice, vegetable pulav, tea, coffee etc.
Jagdish, a farmer from Haryana, said, “One thing we learnt well in the past one year from farmers of Punjab was the art of organising langars. We are aware of langars in Haryana but is it not a regular affair.”
Haryana Kisan Sangrash Samiti had made arrangements all the way and farmer union leaders from Punjab were honoured with siropas, shawls and mementos. Buta Singh Burjgill, president of BKU Dakaunda and senior vice-president Manjit Singh Dhaner were honoured at Fatehabad. “Many farmers boarded trains towards Ferozepur, Mansa, Bathinda from Sonipat and Bahadurgarh and hence they reached early and even went in their villages while those coming via tractors will come on Sunday afternoon in villages,” said Harnek Singh Mehma, president of BKU Dakaunda, Ferozepur district.
Parveen Kumar ( 48) of Sohangarh Ratewala of Ferozepur was honoured by his village panchayat on his returned home after five months.
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