Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service
Tikri, December 5
It is nearly midnight. State committee member of the Punjab Kisan Union Jasbir Kaur takes a round to ensure all is well. She stops near a truck. Young protesters, mostly students, are dancing to the tunes of “Teer te taaj” by Manmohan Waris. She asks them to turn off the blaring music. “If the draconian farm laws are rescinded, I will surely dance with you. But today is no occasion for any celebration,” she chides them gently. The youngsters are prompt to comply.
A large number of women activists, participating in the farmers’ stir here, are war room managers. Harinder Bindu, president of the women’s wing of the BKU (Ugrahan), is incharge of six stages raised at the protest site. Chief of the women’s wing of the Dakhaunda faction Sukhpal Kaur allots tasks and oversees arrangements. Paramjit Kaur of the Ekta-Ugrahan group delivers motivational speeches.
Dramatist Daljinder Kaur from Moga is here to stage “Eh desh kise de baap da nahin”. Harveer Kaur, a firebrand student activist from Faridkot, supplies medicines to ailing farmers. The BKU (Ugrahan) has more than 30,000 women activists on its rolls, most of whom are now in Tikri. From organising langar to supplying sanitary napkins, they are doing it all. “The women and youth have realised that these draconian farm laws will affect their lives too. Hence, they have chosen to be with us here” explains BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan.
“Women have time and again shown that they are the best managers during any crisis. Let’s not forget that it was an agitation spearheaded by women that shook the Badal government on the issue of farm suicides not too long ago,” adds a firebrand Jasbir Kaur even as a resolute Sudesh Goyat, the wife of Major (retd) Ajmer Singh, fondly called the ‘Iron Lady’, concludes: “We will not budge till our demands are met.”