Watch: Farmers dance, sing to celebrate Holi at Ghazipur border
Protesting for 123 days now, farmers at Uttar Pradesh's Ghazipur border celebrated festival of colours Holi dancing on Monday morning.
Early visuals from the protest site, where hundreds of farmers are camping and demanding the rollback of three agricultural laws since November last year, showed farmers dancing to the beats of dhol. Some were also seen smeared in colours.
"We demand that the government should accept our demand and take back the three farm laws so that we can go home," a farmer told news agency ANI.
A day before Holi, farmers burnt copies of the three contentious central farm laws at many places in Punjab on Sunday on the occasion of Holika Dahan, when bonfires are lit on Holi eve symbolising the victory of good over evil.
Thi was done on the call of Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmers unions spearheading the agitation against the farm laws. The farmers also demanded that the three legislations be repealed.
The farmers, hailing from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several Delhi border points, including Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur, since November 28 last year, demanding a complete repeal of the three farm laws and a legal guarantee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their crops. The Centre has denied allegations that it was trying to put an end to MSP and the mandi systems.
The government, which held 11 rounds of formal talks with protesting unions before the negotiations completely broke down, has maintained that the laws are pro-farmers. It has emphasised that the protests by farmers must be seen in the context of India's democratic ethos and polity even as the ministry of external affairs (MEA) said that some vested interest groups have tried to mobilise international support against the country. The remarks from the MEA came as a push back after several foreign leaders extended support to the farmers’ protest or questioned the government’s handling of the snowballing demonstrations.
In January, the government had offered to suspend the farm laws for 12-18 months, which was rejected by the farmer unions.