The farmers’ agitation for repeal of three agriculture laws introduced by the Union government has entered its 41st day today. Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and other states are protesting at various borders in Delhi in the bitter cold and demanding repeal of these laws.
The seventh round of meeting also ended in a deadlock yesterday and farmers have announced their further strategies which also includes a tractor parade on 26th January 2020 if their demands against the new agricultural laws are not met.
Now, the women from Haryana villages will also be joining the parade. In several places across Haryana, women are learning to drive tractors, with one such session held for those belonging to Jind district, at Khatkar Toll Plaza on Jind-Patiala National Highway, on Monday.
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Women have been actively taking part in large numbers at the protests being held by farmers at Delhi borders since November 27 last year.
By having women ride tractors into Delhi on January 26, it is a startling change for patriarchal Haryana, and also a message that their families stand behind them in the agitation.
At the Khatkar Toll Plaza, the farmers have made all such tolls across Haryana “free” and the women are trained in everything from how to start a tractor and switch it off, before being handed the steering.
38 year old, Sikkim Nain, from Safa Kheri village, said that around hundred of them from the district have been attending the training sessions at the toll plaza, with similar preparations on across the state.
“This is just a trailer for the government. We will take our tractors to the Red Fort to participate in the tractor parade. It will be a historical event,” she said.
Adding, “Women power has joined the battlefield now. We are not going to retreat, don’t take us lightly. This is the second battle of Independence. If we don’t fight today, what would be our reply to future generations?”
Another 35 year old said, “Khatkar gaon hai, Rajpal ki gharwali hun, Saroj naam hai (My village is Khatkar, my husband is Rajpala, and I am Saroj”.
“I am the daughter of a farmer. The government has already committed a lot of atrocities on farmers but we won’t tolerate this anymore.” she said.
Another elderly farmer, Satbir Pehlwal, admitted that letting the women take this step was a huge leap for them, but a natural one.
“Our sons are fighting at the international borders while our men have gheraoed the national capital,” he stated. Adding that they were determined to intensify their stir if their demands were not met.
Khap leader Azad Singh Palwan also said that the tractor parade by their women and men “will be like the one taken out by jawans (on Republic Day)”.