National

Farmers vacate Ghazipur border

Three hundred and eighty three days after they began gathering at the Ghazipur border that connects Delhi with western Uttar Pradesh, farmers returned to their respective towns and villages after holding a ‘fateh’ (victory) march, commemorating their success of getting the three Central farm laws repealed.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), whicht led the protests in the region, held a ritual in the morning before the convoy of its national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait headed towards his village Sisauli, headquarters of the union in Muzaffarnagar district, stopping for receptions in Ghaziabad and Meerut along the way.

Sisauli and Soram-- headquarters of different khaps in the region-- were decorated with lights, and sweets were distributed as Mr. Tikait visited his village for the first time since the agitation started last November.

Graffiti on flyover

As an abiding memory of the 13-month struggle, farmers have painted a graffiti on the wall of the flyover that mentions the period of their stay on the border. “It’s a victory of our will and determination,” said a group of farmers, packing their belongings that ranged from cots and tarpaulin sheets to logs and motorcyles. All the stuff was packed in trolleys attached to tractors that were clearly more than a decade old. While the policemen looked the other way or chose to sip tea from the langars serving the last round of meals, the ragpickers had a field day as they collected the remains of the day. Stray bulls that were kept at bay for this while returned to languish on the service lane that was still blocked at one end by barriers put by the Delhi Police.

Ikram, an aged farmer from Garh area of Hapur district, said he was satisfied with the outcome of the agitation. “Der aaye durush aaye [better late than never]. We can’t say we are happy, as we lost many of our brothers in the last one year but I thank the government for responding to our voice.” Rest of the demands, he stated, could be fulfilled in due course. “It is a process and there is an election on the horizon,” he remarked.

‘Focus on business of work’

In his late 80s, Gandharv Singh from Auraiya in Etawah district spent eight months at the border. “The government should refrain from ‘dharm ka dhandha [business of religion]’ and instead focus on ‘karm ka dhandha [business of work)’,” he stressed. Inflation, he noted, continued to affect farmers and the government continued to save a Minister who is responsible for crushing farmers.

“We have not forgotten the pain we suffered in the last one year. It is simmering like these ashes,” he observed, pointing to the remains of the ritual that were keeping him warm in the NCR’s (National Capital Regopn) winter.


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Printable version | May 29, 2022 5:44:12 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/farmers-vacate-ghazipur-border/article37962286.ece