Digging: On the fronts when the farmers besieged Delhi, India

W.Chicken sacks were torn, almonds were poured, more than 10,000 kilograms of them. This was not the first donation sent to Indian farmers by camping around the Delhi area. In recent days, trucks have been sacking rice, pulses, flour, vegetables, sugar, tea and biscuits and defaming it.

“This food is sent from all over India and by supporters from England and Canada. There is no shortage of food. We have enough to eat for months,” said Jaswant Pal Singh, a farmer from Punjab.

Now, on its 15th day, the protests of Sikh farmers, mainly in Punjab and Haryana, against the government’s plan to liberate the agricultural sector show no sign of it losing its energy.

Thousands of farmers, many with beards and white beards exposed to the weather, have laid siege to the Indian capital. They are refusing to move until the new rules are repealed.

Farmers protest in their tractor-trolley on the Delhi-Haryana border on December 10, 2020 in Sanghu.
In Sanghu, farmers protest in their tractor-trolley on the Delhi-Haryana state border December 10. Photographer: Prakash Singh / AFP / Getty Images

Farmers arrived in convoys of tractors with attached trolleys, which were commonly used to transport crops, but have now been re-targeted as police barricades as well as temporary shelters.

A trolley acts as a bedroom, with blankets and piles of bundles of clothes. The trolley has washing lines around the tractors and empty spaces covered with tarpaulin sheets, a seating area where farmers are chatting and angry over the reforms.

Through discussions on the ongoing stalemate between agriculture leaders and the government, farmers know that this could be a long journey, possibly months, so they have arranged regular hot meals.

In Sanghu, one of the three places in the Indian capital where farmers have set themselves up, meals and snacks are cooked and tea is served at all times of the day and drunk in large pumpkins and pots. Are

Protesters raised tea and potato dumplings. Lunch is rice, lentils and vegetables. Afternoon tea with biscuits and risks. Dinner is a whole meal away with kheer, an Indian rice kheer.

A laundromat has opened its doors to offer farmers free washing machine use, and a shopping mall has allowed its PowerPoint to be used to recharge mobile phones.

Protesters grind almonds to make an energy drink.
Protesters grind almonds to make an energy drink. Photo: Amrit Dhalon / The Guardian

In another protest, in Ghazipur, an NGO set up a temporary library with books and magazines on agriculture and social issues. Due to the lack of other employment opportunities, these small landowners, young demonstrators – young, educated Sikhs – are proving popular among young demonstrators following their ancestors.

They are not citizens of politics, but citizens of this land, but now many people say that the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has reduced their determination and flexibility and now their match can be completed.

“This is my land. I own it. What makes Modi think he can make decisions on my behalf?” Said Singh. “At least he should have consulted us, but he did very little.” Could. “

The agriculture sector, which employs about half of Indians but adds only 15 to 16 per cent to India’s GDP, suffers from archeological malpractice and incompetence. Millions of farmers are struggling to make a living, and the suicide rate in the agricultural sector is one of the highest in the world.

Modi maintains that the reforms, which were passed in September, were long overdue. He assured the farmers that the laws would modernize agriculture and at the same time attract investment and give maximum income to the farmers to whom they should sell.

However, although most farmers agree that their sector is in dire need of reform, they say that these laws will not only leave them at the mercy of big corporations, but also mean that This will mean that they will earn less for their crops and risk losing their land. He is also angry at the failure to consult with farming coalitions and leaders.

Make-up shift community cooks food for protesting farmers on Delhi-Haryana border in Sanghu
In Sanghu, a community kitchen temporarily prepares food on the Delhi-Haryana border. Photo: EPA

Although the government offered a number of significant concessions on Wednesday, including a promise to maintain a guaranteed price, farmers have rejected the deal. Farmers say they could intensify protests next week and block all highways to Delhi, disrupting food and medical supplies in the capital.

“We have left our family at home,” he said. They are waiting for us. We are not enjoying living openly like this. But we will not return empty-handed, “said Manjit Singh, from Ludhiana, who has been camping in Sanghu since the first day of the protest.

There have already been 15 deaths, and as winter temperatures begin to drop, farmers acknowledge that this can be even more difficult, especially during the night. Volunteer doctors have set up stalls to treat people with diseases. But fever, cold and pain are already common.

A group of protesting farmers.
Farmers are refusing to relocate until the new laws are repealed. Photo: Amrit Dhalon / The Guardian

Older people, in particular, suffer. They have joint pain. Their blood pressure fluctuates. “It worries me that the government has put the elderly farmers to sleep on open land just to protect their rights,” said Dr Amarjit Singh.

In densely populated camps, the coronavirus does not seem to be a cause for concern, and Machamzo’s misconception means that hardly anyone is wearing a mask.

“We don’t have to worry about the corona virus,” said Satbir Singh, twisting his arm. We are stronger than any physical work we do in the field. We will not have the virus.

So far, farmers’ resilience is unshakable and their appetite is satisfied. A group of muscular men sit in a row and start grinding a kilo of almonds before that. “Milk paste in metal cups will be handed over to the farmers to keep them strong and fit to continue the protests,” he said.


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