Farmers in Punjab, who have been protesting against the Centre’s new farm laws, have found new allies – Punjabi singers.
Ranjit Bawa, a 31-year-old singer, has joined the protest and is instrumental in mobilising the youth. He says singers have taken to the streets as this is a fight for their existence.
“We have taken to streets because this threatens our existence. We earn by performing in front of our people, and this law will affect us all.”
Perceived by many as those who glorify guns, violence and opulence, the singers are now talking “constitution, federal structure and revolution”.
Actor Deep Sidhu, once a close aide of BJP MP Sunny Deol, said this protest is for Punjab.
“It is not just farmers’ protest. It’s a protest for existence. There was one American revolutionary, Martin Luther King. We need to learn from him that how protests have to be channelised. We need to involve children also,” he said at a protest in Batala.
Harjeshwar Pal Singh, the professor of History in Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Chandigarh, says economic reasons have forced singers to join the protests.
The rail blockade by farmers have created acute shortage of essentials in Punjab.
The farmers last week met union ministers Piyush Goyal and Narendra Singh Tomar and presented a long list of demands.
Apart from the immediate withdrawal of the farm laws, the farmers said punishments for burning farm wastes – linked with deeply unhealthy spikes in air pollution in Delhi and surrounding areas – must be cancelled and farmers jailed for this be freed.