Tenu Delhi eh ekath pareshaan karuga
Tere fayede nalo jyada nuksaan karuga
Par faslan da faisla kisan karuga
(Delhi, this gathering will bother you. It will hurt you more than giving any benefit. But farmer will decide about his crops.)
These are lines of Sufi singer Kanwar Grewal’s recently released song `Ailaan’ in support of farmers’ protest against three new agriculture laws. Grewal sang the song in a-first-of-its-kind gathering, ‘Punjab de Shehri, Kisan de naal’, outside Hotel Gulmohar on Ferozepur road in Ludhiana on Sunday.
Grewal said that unity of people can force Delhi to rethink their decision. He said, “While the elderly have wisdom, youngsters have josh. So a combination of both is needed to pressure the government.”
It was a gathering where industrialists, students, engineers, doctors, historians and scholars had gathered on one platform on a call via social media. This programme was organised by Ludhiana residents Gauravdeep Singh, Parampal Singh, historian Dr Sukhpreet Singh Udhuke and Mohd Usman. Nearly 1,000 people from all walks of life attended the gathering. It was a-first-of-its-kind gathering in any city of Punjab, not by farmers but for the farmers.
Singer Bir Singh and youth activist Sukhdev Singh Phagwara expressed their views. Mohd Usman, press secretary of Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Ludhiana, said, “We Muslim brothers and sisters stand with our farmers. We realise that farm laws are going to impact us as well sooner or later. Hence, we need to come on one platform. We had been serving langar to our farmer brothers and sisters at many protest locations in Punjab.”
Noor Chahl, a young singer who is popular on social media, and activist Harshleen Kaur too extended support to thousands of women who come on a daily basis to the farmers’ dharnas at many locations in Punjab. Ranjodh Singh, MD of GS Auto and former general secretary of Ludhiana Auto Parts Manufacturers Association, said, “I am an industrialist. I should be bothered about my raw material stuck en route as rail roko is going on. But I feel for sometime, we need to set aside our self-interests. We need to think about a larger interest as of now. I feel that cooperative movement can increase the income of farmer rather than corporatisation. This is a failed model of America.”
A dentist, Dr Amandeep Singh Bains, RTI activist Kuldeep Khaira, IT engineer Jaskirat Singh, Gurusahib from Khalsa Aid and many others were part of this event which continued for about four hours. Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, general secretary of BKU (Ugrahan), said, “We appreciate this move of Ludhiana residents in support of farmers. This is how movements become part of the masses. I am sure that on Dussehra, effigies of the Central government and corporates will be burnt in all prominent cities of Punjab rather than only in villages or at protest dharna sites.”