Gul Panag hopes protesting farmers can celebrate Lohri with families
After a long time, actor Gul Panag will be spending Lohri with her parents in her village Mahadian, Punjab, this year. That this is going to be her three-year-old son Nihal’s first Lohri in Punjab with his grandparents makes the celebration all more special.
“Given our work schedule and since I’m mostly in Mumbai, celebrating Lohri with my parents had become a rarity. After many years, I’m hoping to relive those earlier days once again,” she says before talking about the festival.
“As we go round the fire and throw sesame seed into it, we usually say ‘Ishar aaye, dalidar jaye…’, that’s leave the laziness behind because winter is ending and let’s get back to work with new vigour. The traditional makki di roti, sarson da saag, rewri and gajak are must. Good thing about being in Delhi is that my parents’ house in Punjab isn’t far, so I’m able to meet them more often. Also, Lohri isn’t a religion specific festival but a regional cultural festival that happens in both east and west Punjab and celebrated by Hindus, Muslims, Christians… too who resides there,” says the Paatal Lok actor, who has been in Delhi since the beginning of the farmer’s protest.
She is one among the Bollywood celebrities who extended support to farmer’s protesting against centre’s three farm bills.
Considering Lohri an important festival for farmers in Punjab and Haryana, Panag adds, “They’re celebrating any which way, lighting fire every day to keep warm. Kabse hi to chal raha hi unki Lohri. Since the protest is happening in Haryana and two critical points being Sikri and Singhu, both in Haryana, so the whole thing is yeh Punjab ka protest hai. But you’ve to go on the ground to see kitne alag alag log shamil hai isme. I’ve been there so I know. I had my first saag of the season at Singhu border from somebody from Haryana.”
Hoping that the farmers are able to be with their family this year for Lohri, but then says everything depends on “what decision the Government” takes.
“One obviously wants them to be able to go back home and be with their familes but they haven’t left their families out of choice. They would rather be home than here. And Lohri is a very significant thing for Punjabis. So you’ve to question why are they here despite all of that, and despite being now when we’re over 40 days in the protest and 50 deaths and counting, but no solution yet,” she says.
Ending on a positive note, the actor sharesshe would pray and hope for a new beginning for the world after the tough 2020 while going round the fire. And the message she would like to give out: “Let’s leave the past behind and look towards a new future with hope.”
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Author tweets @Shreya_MJ
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