Apropos to Harsh Thakor's article

Sandeep Banerjee

May I be allowed to add some comments.

If one visits the 'encampment' of BKU (Ugrahan) near the Tikri Border (some 3-4 km away from the stage near to the Tikri Border Metro Station) and their stage, where everyday there are programmes from 9-10AM to 4PM (approx), what will strike the eyes of an onlooker is the spontaneity, zeal and also (strange) sense of discipline, cohesiveness. It was evident every day, say on Jan 24, Jan 25, Jan 26, Jan 27, Jan 28..., I mean, on the Republic Day parade and also days before and after. That stage allows anyone to speak except leaders of established parties. Workers from Uttarakhand and UP could tell the audience what s/he or her/his trade union thinks, distribute their leaflets, even agricultural workers came from Chattisgarh, and some of them were seen searching the tables in the PSU(SR) organized book-stall if anything was available in Hindi. Eagerness to read books, handbills and etc was another noticeable thing among many participants living in the tents. The day when scores of ex-military men, many of them decorated with gallantry awards, badges, even some with Maha Vir Chakra, Ashoka Chakra etc honours, marched to the stage and pledged their support to the farmers struggle, it was memorable to all of the audience. 

Another important aspect was the way the Delhites welcomed the marching peasants and workers, some on tractors, some on foot, some senior village ladies and elderlies on trolleys. At many places people of Delhi poured onto streets, showered flowers, distributed oranges, water bottles, water in earthen pots, biscuit packets, bananas, and whatever they thought to help the marchers. After evening, when marchers were returning, at several places, roadside people requested to stop for a minute and have some tea. This warm welcome by urban citizenry emboldened the peasants and workers and also the organisers; now they know that ordinary city residents are on their side.

Feb 7, 2021

Sandeep Banerjee

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