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Tractor parade: Emotions running high, farm outfits work overtime to keep youth in check

Not only farm activists, but a large number of youths having no connection with any farm organisation are going to participate in the R-Day parade.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
January 21, 2021 10:39:48 am
A rehearsal of the tractor rally from Singhu Border to Tikri on January 7, 2021. (Express Photo: Abhinav Saha)

As farm outfits make preparations for tractor parade in Delhi on the Republic Day, they are also taking steps to ensure that emotions among the youth in particular are kept in check and don’t spark any tension on the ground. Sources said that youngsters who are eager to reach Delhi for the R-Day protest feel that the day would be decisive for the ongoing protest.

Farmer outfits are expecting that over a lakh tractors from Punjab to reach in Delhi by January 23 and already thousands of tractors of there at the protest site.

Not only farm activists, but a large number of youths having no connection with any farm organisation are going to participate in the R-Day parade.

“We have been conducting day and night meetings in the villages and educating the youth particularly those who are not the members of any farm organisation to remain in the proper conduct during the R-Day parade as they (youth) think that on that day everything would be settled down and government will give some firm decision regarding farmers’ protest,” said Jagsir Singh, BKU (Ugrahan) leader from Bathinda, adding that the youth should know that peaceful agitations are more productive and fruitful then showing desperation.

“The youth who are part of farm organisations are already aware of how peacefully the farm organisations do their protests for days, weeks, months together…We are telling them that whatever be the situation whether the government would give any decision or not on that day, our main purpose is to take out the peaceful tractor march and to continue our protest peacefully in future also till the time our demands are not met…We have become very vigilant and have appointed volunteers not only at the Delhi border but also for our tractor parade so that no outsider can enter our march with ulterior motive to sabotage or to instigate the youth participating in the march,” he said.

It is learnt that in various villages the youth are preparing their tractors to get to Delhi and they are quite angry with the government for its indifferent attitude against the farmers sitting on roads for the past about two months in the harsh winter season.

Another leader of BKU (Ugrahan) from Sangrur shared the same feeling and said that their entire effort is to keep the youth under control rather than taking more and more people to Delhi for the tractor march.

“When our parents and our near and dear ones are sitting on roads, and around 100 farmers have already lost their lives, then for how long can one keep quiet… and we have decided to raise our voice even louder during the R-Day parade. I have already fixed a powerful speaker on my tractor to vent out my feelings during the parade,” said Parminder Singh, a youth from village Kheri in district Sangrur.

“We are telling youth that every protest has its sanctity. Peaceful and democratic protests can yield great results. We are quoting examples from the past struggles in our meetings with the youth,” said a leader of Bharat Naujwan Sabha.

The leaders of women wings, Lok Morchas Punjab, have also been educating the youth to be under code of conduct during the parade.

Satnam Singh Sahni, general secretary of BKU (Doaba), said that a large number of youths are ready to participate in the R-Day parade and have readied their tractors. “We have made it clear that everything will go on in a democratic and peaceful manner because youth are over-enthusiastic and want a firm reply from the government which is delaying the matter,” he said.

Sahni said that around 20,000 tractors are going from Doaba and Majha regions for the parade, and nearly 1 lakh tractors will be participating from Malwa, which is the largest region of the state having 14 out of 22 districts.

He said that thousands of tractors are also coming from Haryana, Rajasthan and UP.

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