Dalit labour unions joining farmers’ stir on Delhi border
Sangrur Dalits hailing from Balad Kalan, Jhaloor and Dhandiwal villages have joined hands with protesting farmers at New Delhi’s Singhu border over the past three-four days. These and residents of Sherpur, Longowal, Kheri, Namol and other villages are also participating in farmers’ protests under the banners of Zameen Prapti Sangharsh Committee (ZPSC) and Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union (KPMU).
The leaders and cadre of these left-leaning dalit-labour unions joined the protest with red flags, raising slogans of farmers-labourers’ unity. Around 50 members of ZPSC had started for Delhi on Tuesday night, and over 100 members of KPMU have already joined the protests.
Farmers and dalits, however, have been known to clash over the issue of 33% share of dalits in common reserved panchayat land in villages of Sangrur district over the past five years.
“The three farm laws will not just ruin the farming community; these will snatch bread from the hands of the labourers as well. The concept of contract farming is anti-farmer and anti-labour class. Agriculture is the base of Punjab’s economy and the black laws will not spare dalits,” Lakhvir Longowal, state general secretary, KPMU, told HT over phone.
State chief of ZPSC Mukesh Malaudh said, “The fight is against fascism. It is the need of the hour that farmers, labourers and minorities along with other marginalised sections should join hands to defeat a fascist government that the BJP is leading.” He added, “The new agriculture laws will affect people from all walks of life. We support farmers’ agitation and will oppose these laws.”
SANGRUR SAD WORKERS MARCH TO DELHI
Over 500 workers of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) started for the Tikri border to extend support to farmers via Khanauri border of Sangrur on Wednesday. “We are going to join the protests as farmers, not as party workers. A batch of around 500 people from Dirba, Sunam, Dhuri, Malerkotla and other parts of the district marched in 100 vehicles,” said Winnerjit Singh Khadial, SAD spokesperson.