‘Going strong; prepared for long haul’: Farmers as stir enters 100th day | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The farmers agitation against the three central farm laws will enter its hundredth day on Saturday with union leaders asserting that their movement is far from over and they are “going strong”.
The marathon movement has sent out a message of unity, made “farmers visible once again” and brought them back on the political landscape of the country, they said on Friday.
Rakesh Tikait of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) said they are prepared to continue the protest for as long as it is required.
“We are completely prepared. Unless and until the government listens to us and meets our demands, we will not move from here,” Tikait, who is among the leaders at the forefront of the movement, told PTI.
Road blockade
To mark the 100th day of the agitation, the farmers said they plan to block the six-lane Western Peripheral Expressway outside the national capital for up to five hours, reported Reuters.
“We believe that after these 100 days, our movement will put a moral pressure on the government to accede to our demands, because the weather will also worsen,” Reuters quoted farmer leader Darshan Pal as saying.
As the harvesting season begins this month, Pal said neighbours and friends back in the villages would help tend to farms while he and other farmers carry on the protests.
“The laws are like a death warrant to us,” he said. “We are prepared for the long haul.”
‘Don’t take panga with farmers’
Even as the deadlock between the government and farmers over the new farm laws continues, the unions have said the movement has achieved much beyond the immediate scope of the protest.
Talking about how the protest has made the farming community a noteworthy player in the country’s political landscape, Yogendra Yadav of Swaraj India said, “The movement has brought the farmers back on the political landscape of this country. It has made farmers visible once again. It has taught every politician a lesson not to take panga with the farmers.”
“People used to take farmers for granted but this movement has shown that getting into a confrontation with farmers is costly business,” the activist-political told PTI.
“It has united farmers like never before. Haryana and Punjab farmers are united. Despite deep attempts at communal mobilisation in UP, Hindu and Muslim farmers are united in this protest. Gujjars and Meenas are united in Rajasthan,” Yadav said.
Socially constructive movement
Kavitha Kuruganti of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) added that the movement had proven very “constructive” socially as well.
“The farmers movement has to be assisted on multiple levels. There is a very important but limited agenda of securing our four demands, but beyond that is the issue of what the farmers movement has been able to achieve as larger outcomes.
“In Punjab, socially … things like substance abuse, alcoholism and so on have come down because the youth have been constructively engaged in the movement,” she said.
She added that the movement had also “reinforced the identity of women farmers”.
“Women farmers have been able to assert themselves and make their presence and participation felt in this movement. There has been recognition of women farmers as farmers,” she said.
(With inputs from Reuters, PTI)

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