Students have been protesting in support of the farmers since January and they don’t plan to stop anytime soon.
Chandigarh: The roar of the farmers’ protest might have died down, but the enthusiasm of those who are still a part of it has not flickered.
Small groups of people across Chandigarh are still standing tall and protesting to show their support towards the farmers who are protesting at the Delhi borders.
“We are a group of 10 to 15 people who are doing these small protests,” said Jaspreet Kaur, a final year law student. Jaspreet with her family and friends is protesting at traffic crossings of Sector 47, 48, and 49 since the beginning of the year.
“Last year, when the major protests started in Delhi, we formed a small group and we used to collect donations in the form of medicines and basic commodities,” she said. Every week they used to collect these donations and by the end of the week, they used to travel to Delhi to give the commodities to the farmers protesting there.
The Rajya Sabha approved the three farm laws–The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act–on September 20, 2020.
“The farmers are getting exploited from all sides,” said Damodar Prasad, an agriculturalist and political analyst. “Agriculture is not a viable option anymore. There is no alternative for people to choose from. That is the reason they are still protesting.”
Gradually, they started collaborating with Khalsa Aid and started accepting money as donations too.
“We started as a group of more than 20 people, but after the night curfews was imposed in March, a few left and now we are only around 10 to 15 people,” she said.
Jaspreet with her group protested every evening after six. “We have now shifted our time to four in the evening, the night curfew starts at six, so we adjusted accordingly.”
“All the groups who protest across Chandigarh have decided to stop if the government imposes a complete lockdown. The main idea is to remind people that farmers are still protesting on the borders. It might have died down in the papers but the people should not forget about them. We are doing this for the people, if the lockdown is imposed then there is no point in us protesting for the empty roads.”
These protestors stand in pairs on four sides of the traffic lights. This way they maintain social distance while spreading the social message.
Wherever these protests are happening, the police are also stationed in those areas. “By now the police know that we mean no harm. They are present there to prevent any funny behaviour but they don’t interfere with what we do. But during night curfew hours if they ask us to leave, we accept without causing any trouble. We can always come back the next day.”
Jaspreet and many protestors like her are certain that they would protest on the streets of Chandigarh as long as the farmers are protesting on the borders of Delhi.