Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service
Tikri, December 4
“We are here not only to oppose the three farm laws, but to express anger against the government attempts to muzzle dissent as was done during demonetisation. The youth had played an active role during the Mandal Commission stir. It is no different this time,” said Amandeep Kaur Deol, a research scholar, as she sipped tea at a vend on the Tikri border after attending a farmers’ rally.
Seated next to her were Jagroop Kaur, a college teacher from Kotkapura, Sukhpreet Singh Longowal, a bank employee, advocate Jasbir Singh Dhuri and IT postgraduate Dharam Singh Mansa. Minutes later, the group was joined by Sahildeep Singh, an MA (English) student from Faridkot. He had been conducting the stage for the rally. “College students from Punjab and Haryana have gathered here in large numbers, willing to play whatever role is assigned to them,” he remarked.
Amandeep Kaur has been here since December 2 along with her four-year-old daughter. Jagroop Kaur, who arrived here on November 26 with her young son, said their numbers at the protest sites at Tikri and Singhu were steadily growing — from 120 last month to more than 3,000 to date. “None have any political affiliations,” she emphasised even as Sukhpreet Singh showed The Tribune WhatsApp messages from students and young professionals from Ropar, Barnala, Hoshiarpur and Amritsar on their way to Tikri.
“We are pitching in with murals, plays and songs.
This is not just a farmers’ movement but a protest by various sections opposed to the NDA government,” explained Navkiran Natt, a student with Delhi’s Ambedkar University. Dolan from Jawaharlal Nehru Universty said he and his group were here to provide first-aid to the farmers, if attacked. “These laws will benefit the corporates, not the farmers and farm labourers,” Abhiyan, a political science student of Ramjas College, Delhi, added even as Jasmeet Singh, director of the Delhi Bhangra Arena, who has been providing toiletries to the protesters, observed: “Those feeding the nation deserve to be heard.