Children wearing Pagdi at the "Pagdi Sambhaal Jatta" event during farmers protest at Singhu Border in New Delhi
The events organised to mark 140th birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s uncle Ajit Singh, who led the Padgi Sambhal Jatta movement against anti-farmer laws enacted by British rulers in 1907, drew large gatherings across Haryana Tuesday. The events were part of the “Pagdi Sambhal Diwas” organised on the call of Samyukta Kisan Morcha.
Many among the farmers equate the ongoing agitation against the agri laws with Pagri Sambhal Jatta movement. The events which drew significant turnouts were held in Ratia (Fatehabad), Sirsa, village Chuli Bagdiyan (Hisar), Khatkar toll plaza on Jind-Patiala highway, Badhowal toll plaza on Hisar-Chandigarh highway in Kaithal district and Kitlana toll plaza on Mahendragarh-Bhiwani highway.
At the “Pagdi Sambhaal Jatta” event during farmers protest at Ghazipur Border in New Delhi
In Ratia, the event was named as “Pagdi Sambhal Jatta Kisan Panchayat”. Here, Bhagat Singh’s nephew Professor Jagmohan said, “The current agitation is similar to the movement which was launched by Ajit Singh against Britishers. Now, the people are fighting against the Modi government unitedly.”
Remembering the Pagdi Sambhal Jatta movement in a rally in Chuli Bagdiyan village, Haryana BKU chief Gurna Singh Chaduni said at that time too the farmers were being exploited. Amid slogans of “farmers unity jindabad”, Chaduni said, “We will keep fighting till we win the battle. This is not the battle of farmers only, but it’s corporates versus public. The laws are more harmful to those who don’t have agricultural land because the companies will be going to take over the entire food business. The small traders will be finished following the introduction of three laws.”
Farmer leader Kulwant Sandhu address people at Ratia town, where the event was named ‘Pagdi Sambhal Jatta Kisan Panchayat’.
Alleging that the prices of food grains will increase with the removal of the stock limit, the farmer leader said, “The entire food grains will be stored in the big godowns, which are being constructed by the corporates. When you will turn hungry, you have to buy the food grains from those godowns only. Four years back, the Maharashtra government had removed the stock limit from pulses. That time the corporates had bought pulses from farmers at the rate of Rs 50 per kg but later the same were sold at the rate of 200 per kg…. one corporate earned one lakh crore only through the business of pulses. (After three laws) the prices of ration will increase just like the prices of petrol. And you won’t be able to do anything.”
Underlining how the private players have already affected the government institutions, Chaduni said, “They (BJP leaders) say the government mandis will keep functioning despite the introduction of private mandis. Earlier, the private schools were introduced to compete with the government schools. Where are government schools now? You have seen the condition of government schools now. Private hospitals were opened to compete with the government hospitals. Today, (you know) what type of treatment is offered in government hospitals. Likewise, the private (telecom) companies had come to compete with the BSNL. Where is BSNL today? When the private mandis will come to compete with the government mandis, the government mandis will stand collapsed automatically.”