BHOPAL: People from different walks of life observed a 12-hour fast at the Gandhi Bhawan here on Monday in solidarity with the ongoing farmers’ protest. The protestors included writers, filmmakers, artistes, students, social activists and farmers.
The fast ‘Annadata ke Liye Aannatyag’ was a part of a campaign ‘#youth4farmers’, which has drawn support from different states in the country. The youths conveyed their sentiments to the Prime Minister through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms.
The fast began at 7 am and ended at 7 pm. The protestors were holding placards saying ‘Solidarity with Farmers’, ‘No Farmer, No Food’ and ‘Youth for Farmers’ in their hands. An all-religion prayer was also held on the occasion and bhajans dear to Gandhiji and Kabir’s poems were sung.
Gaurav Jaiswal, a youth activist, informed the protestors about the ill-effects of the farm laws. He said that the new laws would ruin the farmers and benefit the corporates.
Dayaram Namdev, secretary of the Gandhi Bhawan Trust, said that fast and Satyagraha are the best means of voicing one’s protest. “In this hour of distress of the farmers, we all should rise in their support,” he said.
Aneesh Kumar, national convener of the Ekta Parishad said that farmers were protesting for the past four months. “When the government did not listen to them, they were forced to lay a siege to Delhi,” he said.
Kumud Singh, a women’s activist, said that we all need to understand how and why the farm laws would hurt the Annadatas (providers of food). “The farmers should not feel that they are alone in their struggle. We all are with them,” she said.
Ujjala Singh, 19, a journalism student, said that she comes from a family of farmers and so she can understand how the new laws would harm the cultivators. “I know that my father works very hard but never gets adequate returns. That is why I am here,” she told Free Press.
Farheen Dawoodi, 18, a student, said she has lived in a city all her life but during her recent 30-day visit to the rural areas of the state under the auspices of an NGO, she could grasp what kind of problems the farmers are facing and how hard they work.
A student, Krishna Pathak, said that he is not against the government but with the farmers. “I hope our fast will give them the energy to struggle on,” he said.
The youths also dispatched around 100 postcards to the Prime Minister. Anupriya Soni, one of the correspondents, wrote, “Chai Pe Charcha and Mann Ki Baat are meaningless if the people are not happy.” Shivashish Tiwari wrote, “An eye for an eye would make the world blind. So, stop stroking your ego and do what the farmers want.” Yet another postcard said, “Mister Narendra Modi ji, I hope you are aware of the fact that the food you eat and the expensive clothes you wear – the raw material of those things are grown by the farmers of India and are not produced by the factories of your beloved friend Ambani. Please get your thoughts clear.”