Noted Punjabi poet Surjit Patar Monday announced that he will return his Padma Shri award in support of farmers who are protesting against the Centre’s farm laws. He is the fourth person from Punjab who has announced to return Padma awards.
In a statement, Patar said he was pained at the “insensitive” attitude of the central government towards the demands of farmers who have been protesting peacefully. “By repeatedly saying that misguided people are part of this movement, the Union government has tried to snub it. This is disgracing farming, public sentiment and hard work,” the 75-year-old said, adding he has decided to return his Padma Shri award with a heavy heart.
Patar had received the Padma Shri in 2012.
“Amrhi menu aakhan laggi, tu dharti da geet rahenga… padam shri ho ke vi patar tu mera surjit rahenga ( my mother started telling me.. you will always remain my song of life…even after getting padam shri.. you will always remain my Surjeet), he further said in the statement.
Earlier, Akali Dal stalwart and former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had announced he would return his Padma Vibhushan award in protest against the farm laws. SAD (Democratic) leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa had also said he would return his Padma Bhushan award in solidarity with farmers. Environmentalist Baba Sewa Singh too has announced to return his Padma Shri.
Gurdas Maan reaches Singhu border
Punjabi folk singer Gurdaas Maan reached the Singhu border Monday where he sat among the farmers. However, he was not given any time to speak from the stage as many farmers are still upset with him over his statement about `one nation one language ‘ last year in a radio interview in Canada. As Maan stood up to greet the gathering, he faced some protest from the youngsters due to which he sat down. Speakers urged farmers not to lose calm as he had come to support them.