Tribune News Service
Shambhu, January 25
As rows of tractors, bikes and cars with red, saffron and green flags atop take a turn at the curve, the echo of ‘Kisan ekta zindabad’ gets louder. Fists go up in the air and signs of victory are flashed. This is National Highway-44 at Shambhu, where once existed a toll barrier.
This is the same place where two months ago, concrete barriers set up by the police were pushed aside as the farmers marched towards Delhi.
Now celebrating the unique festival of unity, all barriers have ceased to exist, between urban and rural, farmers and traders, Punjab and Haryana.
Tamanna Tiwari, a young architect from Ambala, has driven down to Shambhu to cheer on the marching caravans. “I have never participated in a protest. I am here to show solidarity, as the laws need to go,” she says, holding a green and red flag.
The movement has also found resonance with the old. Raj Kumar, a retired employee from Ambala’s ITI, approaches passing vehicles to offer sweets. “I have spared a small amount from pension to be a part of this struggle.”
The struggle has inspired many unemployed youth to go back to their roots. Sandeep Singh, a young man from Gurditpura village, near Doraha, says his father used to lease out his farmland. “After the movement, I have fallen in love with farming. I want to be called a farmer,” he says.
Inner roads, too, are brimming with people, waiting to welcome the marchers with langars. There are “foot soldiers” too. Sunny from a Ludhiana village says he along with three friends started their foot march at 8 am. “After walking for four hours, we got a lift on a tractor-trailer near Khanna,” he says.
Asked what has inspired him to head to Delhi, he says: “It is a fight for our existence.”
Marchers cheered on by young old