Joginder Singh Ugrahan, chief of the Bharati Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), speaks to RAAKHI JAGGA on farm laws, human rights and farm suicides.
What do you think of the amendments proposed by the Centre government in the three farm laws?
We have rejected their proposals and amendments. Earlier, they were saying that farm laws are for farmers’ welfare but later they were ready to insert amendments. By proposing amendments, they have proved that their laws have flaws. Any law, which has so many flaws, needs to be scrapped…
When you had started from Punjab, what was on your mind?
We had come with a clear mind that this struggle will last long. That’s why we came after stocking up on ration to last us the season. Our workers keep coming in turns at the protest site and on any given day not less than 50,000 of them remain present at the Tikri border apart from at over 50 protest sites in Punjab. However we are thankful to the overwhelming response from Haryana farmers who are supplying the protesters with hot meals and milk.
Your union stirred up a controversy when you organised a protest seeking release of the jailed human rights activists. The other 32 farmers’ organisations of Punjab said the protest has harmed the ongoing struggle.
Talking about democratic rights is not a crime and we will continue to seek our rights in future as well. We heard words like “urban Naxals”, “agents of Congress”, “favouring Pakistan and their PM Imran Khan”…. These things have no meaning. Talking about human rights is not a crime.
In the Supreme Court’s writ petition, your outfit is not a party. Will you become a party in this petition over farm laws in future?
We have not decided anything as of now. We will discuss the issue with union members and also with the rest of the farmer unions who are also fighting for the same cause.
Your reaction to the fresh letter by the Centre for another meeting?
That letter talks about the same old amendments proposed by the Centre in farm laws.