In photos: Over a lakh farmers, labourers pledge unity at Mazdoor Kisan Ekta Maha rally at Barnala

22 February 2021
Joginder Singh Ugrahan, the head of the BKU (EU), addressing the Mazdoor Kisan Ekta Maha rally at Barnala on 21 February. “Modi says he has a 56-inch chest, but we have proven him wrong,” he said. “Modi is already defeated; he has been wrestled down by the Punjabis.”
Joginder Singh Ugrahan, the head of the BKU (EU), addressing the Mazdoor Kisan Ekta Maha rally at Barnala on 21 February. “Modi says he has a 56-inch chest, but we have proven him wrong,” he said. “Modi is already defeated; he has been wrestled down by the Punjabis.”
Women leading the sloganeering at the Mazdoor Kisan Ekta Maha rally. “This government wants to run the country according to the Manusmriti,” Bindu, the most prominent woman farmers’ leader, said. “They want to keep us women under their feet, but we won’t let them.”. Women leading the sloganeering at the Mazdoor Kisan Ekta Maha rally. “This government wants to run the country according to the Manusmriti,” Bindu, the most prominent woman farmers’ leader, said. “They want to keep us women under their feet, but we won’t let them.”.
Women leading the sloganeering at the Mazdoor Kisan Ekta Maha rally. “This government wants to run the country according to the Manusmriti,” Bindu, the most prominent woman farmers’ leader, said. “They want to keep us women under their feet, but we won’t let them.”

Over one lakh farmers and farm labourers attended the Mazdoor Kisan Ekta Maha rally at Punjab’s Barnala city to protest the Narendra Modi government’s 2020 farm laws. It was organised by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan)—the largest by far of the many farmers’ unions protesting the laws. The Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union, the BKU (EU)’s wing representing landless farm labourers was prominent at the rally. Both labourers and farmers came from across the Malwa region—including the districts of Barnala, Sangrur, Sri Muktsar Sahib, Bathinda, Faridkot, Mansa and Ludhiana. The rally was meant to build solidarity between landowning farmers and farm labourers, whose unity, several speakers at the rally said, the government was attempting to break.

Ramanpreet Kaur, a 23-year-old from Bilaspur, waves the flag of the BKU (EU).. Ramanpreet Kaur, a 23-year-old from Bilaspur, waves the flag of the BKU (EU)..
Ramanpreet Kaur, a 23-year-old from Bilaspur, waves the flag of the BKU (EU).
The rally was meant to build solidarity between landowning farmers and farm labourers, whose unity, several speakers said, the government was attempting to break.. The rally was meant to build solidarity between landowning farmers and farm labourers, whose unity, several speakers said, the government was attempting to break..
The rally was meant to build solidarity between landowning farmers and farm labourers, whose unity, several speakers said, the government was attempting to break.

Prominent farmer leaders including the BKU (EU)’s Joginder Singh Ugrahan and Harinder Bindu; Lachhman Singh Sewewala, the general secretary of PKMU; Balbir Singh Rajewal, who heads the BKU (Rajewal); and Ruldu Singh, who heads the Punjab Kisan Sabha, joined the rally. Ugrahan leads the sit-in protest at the Tikri border site, while Rajewal represents the largest union at the Singhu border protest site. Thousands of women and children also joined the rally which was at the largest foodgrain mandi in Barnala.

CK Vijayakumar is a multimedia producer at The Caravan.

Prabhjit Singh is a contributing writer at The Caravan.

Keywords: Farmers' Protest farm laws 2020 Punjab Bharatiya Kisan Union Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) Joginder Singh Ugrahan
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