If the laws are not repealed, the protest will continue, say protesters at Singhu border
After the Supreme Court on January 12 ordered suspension of the three farm laws which the farmers have been protesting against, they maintained that the only way to end the protest is to repeal the laws.
Protesting farmers at Singhu border unanimously said they won’t “move an inch” till the laws are repealed and made another point — if farmers leave once, it’ll become very difficult to put together a protest of this stature.
“We have nothing to do with what the Supreme Court has to say. It’s between them and the government. If the laws are not repealed, the protest will continue. This has been the single-point agenda since the beginning,” said Baljit Singh, committee member, All Indian Kisan Sabha, who is also a part of the stage management committee at the Singhu border.
While farmers welcomed suspension of the laws, some didn’t seem to trust the order’s intention. “It’s good that the laws have been repealed but it looks like a gimmick to end the protest. And once we all disperse, it will become impossible to come back and protest like this again. As it is, we have reached here with much difficulty and are facing lathis and water cannons,” said Jagroop Singh, 45, from Mohali.
When we left home, we prayed that we will come back only when the laws are repealed, said Gurmeet Singh, 72, from Hoshiarpur, adding that the SC move is a “sweet toffee” to the farmers. The only statement that will make people leave from here is Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the laws have been repealed, said Manjeet Singh, 50, from Ropar. “They are all scared about the January 26 parade and want us to leave.”
Lack of trust in the judiciary is also seen among the farmers. “The Supreme Court seems to be working hand in hand with the government. The government had also said we should send women and children back and the same thing was said by the SC which shows back channelling,” said Daljeet Singh, 35, from Moga adding that committee formation was also government’s idea which has now been ordered by the SC.
The problem with suspension is that it can be brought back and eventually, the decision will go in the government’s favour, fears Hardev Singh, 65, from Ludhiana who had retired from the Army in 1991. “For 20 years, I fought against outside forces and now I am fighting our own. Is this our age to fight here? But what to do?” he asked.
In the wake of farmers taking their own lives at the stage on Tuesday, many speakers specially focused on telling the protesters not to get carried away. “We are about to enter the door of victory… don’t lose hope,” said a speaker.