As farmers continue to stage protest across the country over the three contentious farm bills passed in the Parliament recently, the forefront of several demonstrations in Punjab on September 25 were women. Many of them were activists, college students and teenage school dropouts.
Women were seen raising slogans of revolution and addressing large gatherings of farmers, criticising the Centre's farm policies.
Neelkamal, a final year student at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, organised protests in six villages in Barnala.
"We belong to Thikriwal, the village of freedom fighter Sewa Singh Thikriwal. Revolution runs in our blood," she told The Indian Express.
Amandeep Kaur Deol, the 33-year-old general secretary of the Istri Jagriti Manch, took her three-year-old daughter to Friday's protests. Amandeep had dropped out of a PhD programme to focus on her work on women's issues. She addressed hundreds of farmers in Patiala on September 29.
Punjab and Haryana have been the epicentre of nationwide protests by over 350 farmers' organisations under the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee.
Thousands of protesters blocked roads and highways in many states, and were supported by prominent Opposition parties such as the Congress, Trinamool Congress and RJD, as well over 10 central trade unions.
Farmers fear the new legislation will scrap the minimum support price (MSP) regime and throw them at the mercy of big corporates. However, the government has constantly assured that it is committed to the welfare of the farmers and will offer more opportunities to them.
In Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar of the NCP, and Congress president and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said that the state might decide to not implement the Bills. Chhattisgarh and Punjab have also said the same.
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