JALANDHAR: Scores of dalits from Punjab — landless farm labourers, singers and even dera preachers — have joined or lent support to the farmer protests on the borders of Delhi.

Dalit preachers have also addressed the protest at Singhu border from the main stage. Some dalit NRIs are also contributing financially. From villages, they are going together with farmers, most of whom are Jat Sikhs. It seems farmers’ protest has also improved equation between Jat Sikhs, dalits and other communities in villages.

Preachers of both factions of Sri Guru Ravidas Sadhu Sampardai Society, representative body of deras of Adi-dharmi/Ravidassia community, have been to Singhu border in the last few weeks. Factions’ leaders Sant Nirmal Dass and Sant Mohinderpal also addressed the gathering, apart from Sant Satwinder Dass Heera of All India Adi-dharam Mission and Sant Sarwan Dass of Ludhiana. “We are with the farmers from Day 1 and have been supporting their agitation when it was going on in Punjab also. Rather this agitation has united the people,” said Heera. He and other Dalit preachers had supported Bharat Bandh on December 8 during which Dera Sachkhand Ballan, largest dera of Ravidassia community, also sent langar for protesters at a few sites in and around Jalandhar.

Adi Dharam Samaj (ADS) founder and head Darshan Ratan Ravan said there is a strong feeling among farm labourers that in case farmers would be affected, they would also be affected. “So, they are also joining the protest. They are wary of big corporations taking over farming in coming times. Several of our members have already participated in protests at Singhu border,” said Kashmir Ghugshor, state press secretary of Pendu Mazdoor Union.

Singers from Dalit community who often sing songs focussing on the causes of the identity of the Dalits have also been to Singhu border. “Quite a few of us have already been there. I have been to there three times and my latest trip was on Monday when I also handed over Rs 50,000 on behalf of Buddhist Samaj Wolverhampton, UK, to the people involved in morcha there,” said Priya Banga, who often sings at BSP programmes and focuses on songs with some message to her community or society at large. She said other prominent Dalit singers who have already been to the morcha t Delhi include Rajni Thakkarwal, Prem Lata, Roop Lal Dhir, Balwinder Bittu, Malkiat Bombeli, Shinda Kaudhar and lyricist Rattu Randhawa.

“Our slogan Kisan Mazdoor Ekta is actually materialising on the ground during the protest,” said Mukesh Chander Sharma, senior vice president of Doaba Kisan Sangharash Committee.

Bahujan Samaj Front leader Sukhwinder Singh Kotli said that he had been to Singhu border as well as to Tikri border protest and their two leaders also spoke from stage at Tikri border. “At ground the protest at Delhi border has rather united Jat Sikhs, Dalits and other communities in villages. Apart from jointly going to protest even social interaction between them is also improving. While at most places their equations were already fine and at whatever places there was any bitterness it has ended,” Kotli said. “In our village and in other villages I have noticed more participation of Dalits in Parbhat Pheris (early morning processions) in connection with birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh,” he added.

BSP to join protestors at new year Eve

Bahujan Samaj Party Punjab president Jasbir Singh Garhi has already given a call “Nawan Saal Kisan de Naal” (new year with farmers) to his cadres to reach Delhi in the evening of December 31 to be part of the protest.

Courtesy : TNN