Amid a massive outrage over protesters hoisting a religious flag at the Red Fort during the tractor rally on Republic Day, actor Deep Sidhu, who was among those present during the incident sought to defend their action, saying it was a symbolic protest and they did not remove the national flag.
After the BKU leaders accused him of instigating protesting farmer, Sidhu posted a video on Facebook. He said that they should not be given any communal colour or dubbed as fundamentalists or hardliners.
“To symbolically register our protest against the new farm legislations, we put up 'Nishan Sahib' and a farmer flag and also raised a slogan of Kisan Mazdoor Ekta,” said Sidhu.
The flag represents the country's “unity in diversity”, he said while pointing towards the 'Nishan Sahib', a symbol of Sikh religion seen at all Gurdwara complexes.
He stated that the national flag was not removed from the flagpole at the Red Fort and that nobody raised a question over the country's unity and integrity.
The events that took place during the tractor rally on Tuesday have landed the farmers’ agitation in a soup with even farmer leaders making frantic attempts to disassociate themselves from the faction that stormed the Red Fort. According to the Delhi Police, 83 of its personnel suffered injuries during violent clashes with protesters.
Who is Deep Sidhu?
Deep Sidhu is a famous Punjabi actor. He was born in 1984 in Punjab's Muktsar district. The actor was even part of the Bar for a brief period before he won the Kingfisher Model Hunt award.
In 2015, Deep Sidhu's first Punjabi movie - Ramta Jogi hit the theatres. However, it was only in 2018 that he gained popularity with the movie Jora Das Numbria, in which he portrayed the lead role of a gangster.
It is important to note that Deep Sidhu was part of the team employed by BJP MP Sunny Deol during his Gurdaspur election campaign in 2019.
Sunny Deol expressed sadness at the Red Fort incident in a tweet. He wrote, "I had earlier, on December 6 through Twitter said that neither I nor my family has any links to Deep Sidhu.”
When the farmers exposed Deep Sidhu at the Red Fort he ran for his life pic.twitter.com/VzIE66tOGy— Sheela Bhatt à¤¶à¥à¤²à¤¾ à¤à¤à¥à¤ (@sheela2010) January 27, 2021
How did Deep Sidhu join farmers' protest?
On September 25, 2020, several activists and artists had decided to join the farmers' agitation at Shambu (Delhi-Haryana) border. Deep Sidhu was among those artists who sat on a dharna at Shambu border alongside farmers. However, later he decided to stage a permanent dharna at Shambu border and made use of his social media followers to talk about the concerns of farmers and the state of Punjab.