Delhi Tikri Border: The Tractors and trolleys that are an integral part of farmers’ agricultural life are now playing a significant role in the ongoing Farmers’ Movement that is celebrated to be a historic movement.
These tractors earlier aided farmers in tilling the land and also in transporting materials have now become the place of stay for most farmers protesting at the borders of Delhi. These tractors and trolleys have played a significant part in the sustenance of the protests for a period of well over 50 days. They are found in very huge numbers at all the protest sites surrounding Delhi including Singhu, Tikri, Dharuhera, Shahjahapur, Ghazipur, and Chilla borders.
The trolleys have been converted as make-shift tents for the Farmers’ family to stay. The interiors of the trolleys have been modified in order to keep themselves protected from the nail-biting cold and the heavy rainfall. While they share that it was difficult to set-up these make-shift places to stay in trolleys, they have built very fine ones. These trolleys have got electricity connectivity to have lights on them and support their charging slots. They have also got mattresses and blankets wherein people can sleep at peace. Huge tarpaulin sheets have been used to ensure that the cold-wind doesn’t enter the trolleys. Many trolleys also have also got wooden ladders making it easier for everyone to hop-in and hop-out of it.
Some trolleys have put up a layer of dry-grass below tarpaulin sheets upon which mattresses are placed. The farmers note that this helps them keep their bodies warm. Trolleys are built strongly in order to make the places comfortable and safe for children, women, and the elderly.
The tractors to which these trolleys are attached aren’t like the smaller ones found often in the South Indian states. They are built to be heavy and sturdy. Many farmers tell us that they treat their trolleys and tractors as a member of their family. On more than one occasion one can witness these farmers performing poojas to these tractors.
Farmers are proud that their tractors were used to show farmers strength on 7th January will do so again on January 26th, Republic Day. They will also be joined in by many more tractors and trolleys coming in from states including Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Kerala.
In our interaction with farmers, they tell so far only 2-3 tractors from each of the villages have reached the Delhi borders. However, for January 26th most of the tractors from almost all villages in Punjab and Haryana are expected to join in for the tractor rally.
Tractor rallies are also being organised at many places across the country including in Karnataka and Bengal wherein lakhs of people are being mobilized to join-in for the tractor rallies at the state level too.
Earlier in the day, Samyukta Kisan Morcha that is leading the ongoing Farmers’ Movement at the borders of Delhi informed us of the modalities and nature of the tractor rally to be organized at Delhi. The planning would be worked out and intimated to the public post the meeting of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha which will be held on 17th and after the hearing of the Supreme Court on 18th January.
Samyukta Kisan Morcha through its latest press statement has made it clear that the tractor rallies will not be disturbing the Republic Day Parade that will be organized by the Government of India.
The article was first published in naanugauri.com. It was translated into English by Shashank SR.