Friday witnessed a differnent mood at Punjab’s 108 morcha sites. There was jubiliance in the air as people danced to the beats of dhol, exchanged congratulatory messages, distributed ladoos and shouted slogans like ‘tino kanoon chkanachoor’ at the protest site in Burj Dhilwan village of Mansa district in Punjab.
They were celebrating PM Narendra Modi’s announcement to repeal the three farm laws, which were at the centre of protests by farmers for the past year. Hundreds of farmers have also been camping at three places on the Delhi border since November 2020, demanding the repeal of the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
Nirmal Singh Rinku, a villager, said that the local sweet shop owner didn’t charge a single penny for the ladoos. “It is the victory of Lok Lehar and so many people contributed to this,” he said.
Manpreet Singh Vicky, another resident, said that these ladoos taste extra sweet today as they taste of victory. “Baba Nanak has answered all our prayers. We are now waiting for the next Parliament session,” he said.
At Jagraon railway station, several protesters did bhangra, including 82-year-old Banta Singh. “Bhangra continued for almost 2-3 hours. The dholi was more happy than us. It is a biggest victory of the biggest movement in Punjab post Independence,” said Kanwaljeet Khanna from BKU Dakaunda.
At Jalandhar bypass and near MBD mall in Ludhiana, ladoos were distributed to all who crossed the stretch.
Similar was the scene in Daun Kalan village of Patiala district where women celebrated with great zeal as they greeted each other with sweets and villagers slogans such as ‘maanwan bhena da eka zindabad’ (hail the unity of mothers and sisters).”
Jatinder Garg, president of Kacha Ahrtiya association Bareta Mandi, said, “We remained as one unit in the past one year. Farmer-Ahrtiya bond got strengthened and it is a big day for us.” Lachman Singh Sewewala, general secretary of Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union (PKMU), said that after over a year the mood was positive in the dharna sites. “People were smiling and hugging each other. This is a great day for us and we hope that the three draconian laws are repealed soon,” he said.