"For justice, we protest"

Farmers march to Bengaluru on Republic Day

Text by
05 February 2021
A protester from the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, a farmers’ organisation, raises slogans during a march at the NICE junction in Bengaluru.
A protester from the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, a farmers’ organisation, raises slogans during a march at the NICE junction in Bengaluru.

On 26 January, as farmers protesting at Delhi’s borders drove into the national capital in large numbers on a fleet of tractors, farmers in Karnataka also held rallies and demonstrations in their support. Thousands from across Karnataka congregated at the NICE junction at Bengaluru’s Tumkur road, as part of the “Jana Ganarajyotsava Parade”—The People’s Republic Day Parade. They later converged with other farmer rallies at the Freedom Park in central Bengaluru. The parade, which was held in solidarity with the protesting farmers, echoed their demand for repealing the three controversial farm laws that were passed in parliament in September 2020. It was led by the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, a farmers’ organisation, and the Samyukta Horata, an umbrella organisation of farmers and trade unions. More than 50 farmers’ organisations took part in the parade, including Dalit organisations such as the Dalit Sangharsha Samiti and Karnataka Dalit Samiti, and various labour associations, with around ten thousand farmers and protesters estimated present at Freedom Park.

Around 10,000 farmers and protesters trekked into Bengaluru from across Karnataka for the Republic Day parade. More than 50 farmers’ organisations took part in the parade, as well as Dalit and labour organisations. . Around 10,000 farmers and protesters trekked into Bengaluru from across Karnataka for the Republic Day parade. More than 50 farmers’ organisations took part in the parade, as well as Dalit and labour organisations. .
Around 10,000 farmers and protesters trekked into Bengaluru from across Karnataka for the Republic Day parade. More than 50 farmers’ organisations took part in the parade, as well as Dalit and labour organisations.
Women also participated in the farmers’ protest in large numbers. They raised slogans such as “For the farmers’ protest, let there be victory, victory.”. Women also participated in the farmers’ protest in large numbers. They raised slogans such as “For the farmers’ protest, let there be victory, victory.”.
Women also participated in the farmers’ protest in large numbers. They raised slogans such as “For the farmers’ protest, let there be victory, victory.”

Like in the national capital, the police stopped the hundreds of farmers approaching Bengaluru on their tractors and lorries by erecting barricades at key entry points leading to the city. The farmers were then asked to park their tractors, and head to the Bangalore railway station, which was another venue from where farmers were marching towards Freedom Park. According to a report in The Telegraph, the police allowed only ten tractors to enter Freedom Park. Kurbur Shanthakumar, the president of the Karnataka Sugarcane Growers Association, criticised the police action. “The police stopped hundreds of tractors from entering the city. We condemn this action that violated our right to organise peaceful protests,” Shanthakumar told reporters.

A farmer’s son, a school-going student, came to participate in the protest with his father. . A farmer’s son, a school-going student, came to participate in the protest with his father. .
A farmer’s son, a school-going student, came to participate in the protest with his father. 

Subhankar Dash is an independent photographer based in Bangalore. He was a photojournalist at The Statesman. His work is available on Instagram @Subhankr_dash

Keywords: farm laws 2020 Farmers' Protest farmers' march Republic Day Tractor Rally
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