Food has been a recurring theme in the ongoing farmers' protest against the Centre's three contentious farm laws. The farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, are sitting in protest at Delhi's borders for over a month now. On Wednesday, the sixth round of talks between the protesting farmer unions and Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Railways, Commerce and Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash took place at the national capital's Vigyan Bhawan.
However, what grabbed everyone's attention was that the Union ministers were seen sharing the langar (community kitchen) food arranged by protesting farmers. The langar food arrived in a van at the meeting venue, Vigyan Bhawan, after around two hours of discussions had taken place and the two sides took a break for tea and snacks. The three ministers were seen standing in a queue to take food along by 41 farmer leaders during the break. This gains much significance as the latest meeting is aimed to break the deadlock over the demand of the farmers to repeal the three laws and other issues.
Earlier, the farmer leaders had refused the lunch offered by the government during the fourth-round of talks with three Union ministers and preferred to eat the food ferried in a van from the Singhu border, where thousands of their colleagues are sitting in protest. "Our farmers' representatives did not accept the lunch offered by the government and we arranged it from the Singhu border," Lok Sangarsh Morcha president Pratibha Shinde told PTI. "How can we have lunch offered by the government when our fellow farmers are sitting on roads," Shinde added.
There was also much debate over the protesting farmers' 'lavish' meals. They were seen having a "pizza langar" at the protest site. Many on social media ridiculed it and termed the protests as fake. However, the farmers slammed such unwarranted comments. "The farmers who gave the dough for pizzas can also afford to have one themselves," said Shanbir Singh Sandhu, who organised the "pizza langar" with his four friends for the farmers protesting.