74-year-old Jasbir Kaur, who has been protesting against the three farms laws at the Singhu Border near Delhi for almost a year, looks satisfied. While other farmers were euphoric after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to repeal the three farm laws, Kaur says that the battle is just half won.
“The announcement is fine but I cannot believe till the time it is completely repealed. At present, it is a matter of satisfaction but I will celebrate once it happens. I believe it is a poll gimmick,” Kaur said.
In one year, Kaur witnessed many farmers who lost their lives due to their delicate health condition which got aggravated because of extreme cold in winter and scorching heat in summer.
Kaur herself suffered a massive heart attack in March this year but she survived as she was immediately shifted to PGI Rohtak. After her recovery, instead of going to her village in Amritsar, she decided to join the protest.
“How can I leave this place till I get justice? After all, many of my fellow farmers sacrificed their lives for this cause. It’s their sacrifice that today we have won this battle,” Kaur said.
While she was talking to this correspondent, other farmers shouted slogans, beat drums and played music to express their happiness. The speakers who were addressing from the stage were full of energy and exuberance.
While some were extremely critical about the government, there were others who expressed gratitude. But they all have one question, “Why did the government wake so late when about 700 farmers have already laid their lives for this cause?”
Kaur also has a similar grievance as she has lost a colleague in the protest. “The monetary loss that we farmers have suffered can be compensated but what about those who have gone forever. Who will bring them back?” She questioned.
Other farmers present on the site echoed a similar concern. Anju Rani, 34, who belongs to Sonipat and has been present at the protest site for the past four months, thanked the Prime Minister for repealing the law but says that there are many contentious issues that are still pending government consideration.
“Minimum Support Price is one of them. Now our next fight will be on this. The government is conscious of the forthcoming elections. You never know like farm laws, they might act in MSP in our favour” Rani said.
Gurdas Singh, another farmer who was carrying a flag and shouting slogans of Inquilab Zindabad, said, “Besides MSP, there are many other issues that still exist. One of them is criminal cases against farmers. Now we will demand the government to withdraw all that.”
A tractor, loaded with farmers who were playing music and shouting slogans, took several rounds of the protest site reflecting the joyous mood. One of the occupants responded, “This is the power of a genuine protest. The government tried to do everything to defame us but truth has prevailed and the government has bowed down before the truth.”