New Delhi, Dec 5 : As a cold wave builds up in and around the national capital slowly, the enthusiasm of farmers sitting in protests against the Centre’s farm laws were expected to lose steam, instead the more the mercury dips the protesters at Singhu (and even at other borders) appear to gain strength — all of which they credit the “Waheguruji” for.
A total of six farmers have died since the agitation reached the borders of the national capital on November 26, however, it has not affected the protest. Rather, the protest is gaining strength with each passing day despite a depleting hope that the Centre would take back the “black laws”.
The agitation which is spearheaded by a number of farmers’ unions and comprises hundreds of thousands of people from varied age groups, is led by some of the most senior members from the front.
“Our objective and Waheguruji Maharaj is keeping us motivated and in good health,” said protesting farmer Amrinder Pal Dhillon in his 60s. Waheguru is a word used in Sikhism to refer to God. It is also uttered as a mantra ‘gurmantra’ meaning the word of the divine which takes one out of darkness.
He added that they are equipped with all the essentials including ample amount of food, water etc.
Another farmer, Rajbir Singh, 52, from Haryana’s Sirsa told IANS, “We are well equipped with everything to sustain for months (if necessary) and carry on with the protests until our demands are met.”
“We don’t care about the cold, we will be here until the government takes back these laws. There is no going back from here,” he added.
In order to battle the cold, the farmers light up bonfires near their makeshift tents, which can be rolled out here and there on roads, their tractors or the shelter camps. They are also equipped with quilts and blankets.
As stubble burning is being blamed for all the pollution in the national capital, the farmers protesting against the new farming laws have turned these “so called villains” into “heroes”, they said. A farmer even pointed out to the smoke emanating from factories at these border areas of Delhi, which were the actual reason for pollution, he said.
For the past 10 days after travelling hundreds of miles they have faced a fair share of hardship both at the hands of police and climate.
The farmers are protesting against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
The laws allow farmers to sell their produce at places apart from their designated APMC market.
They also aim at allowing contract farming under which they can enter into supply agreements with private firms for remunerative and pre-decided prices.
However the farmers believe the new farm laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system (MSP), leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.