Punjabi Women Artists Are Supporting The Farmer Protests With Song And Music To Keep Up The Morale
In one of my most favourite shows of all time, Supernatural, the character of God (yes, Him) says that music is perhaps mankind’s single greatest invention. And he’s one proud papa that the beings he created, have created something so beautiful. To that I say, hear hear! Think about it. Man made barriers and boundaries, but he also made music, which could transcend it all. Amazing, isn’t it? Well, the miracle that could impress even God himself is currently being used by female Punjabi artists to boost the morale of those marching in the farmer protests in Delhi.
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31 farmer unions from states like Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have launched their protest, Dilli Chalo, in opposition to the Farm Bills currently introduced in the Rajya Sabha and awaiting passing. The protests have been on for two months now, and several Punjabi artists, such as singers Kanwar Grewal and Harf Cheema, have been rally support for the cause.
Joining these protests and offering their support in a unique and rather crucial way are female artists. According to the Hindustan Times, these women cultural artists have been singing and performing street plays that give out motivational messages to the marching farmers at Kundli and Bahadurgarh areas on the borders of Delhi. The women, which include 32-year-old Jagjit Kaur and 28-year-old Jaspreet Kaur Jassi, perform songs of revolutionary Punjabi poets like Sant Ram Udasi, Avtar Pash and Raj Kakra whenever possible. These songs are about the country and their own history, and are therefore inspiring to the marching farmers.
What’s more, they march during the day and eat the food prepared by the roadside. And at night, they sleep in tractor-trolleys.
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When it comes to street plays, the themes are again that of India’s independence struggle, the Partition and so on. Reshma, one of the women who perform these plays along with three other members of the Azad Rangmanch troupe, told The Citizen,
“In the last four days the shows have increased as the demand keeps increasing. Our participation in the agitation had started from a Dharna at a toll tax plaza near Barnala. We were writing impromptu scripts at short notices and performing all over Punjab. We began with plays on the partition of India and completed the journey to the present juncture through performances tackling burning issues like the lockdown, the struggles of the working class and the farmers along with the politics of divide and rule. We are having a comfortable stay here as our brothers from Haryana are extending all help to us.”
Not just women artists though, women in general, of all ages, have been a part of these farmer protests. From young school girls sporting badges to senior women who prepare food on the roadside for the protestors and those who march long, the contribution of women to these protests has been tremendous.
Today, Bilkis Bano of Shaheen Bagh, who we know as the Shaheen Bagh Dadi and was recently named as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world, has also arrived on scene to offer her support to the farmer.
“मैं भी किसान की बेटी और माँ हूँ” she told me. pic.twitter.com/oIV4xE5sCz
— Zeba Warsi (@Zebaism) December 1, 2020
While these women march, there are also those, as The Print reminds us, that are currently at home, guarding their homes and fields while the men are away protesting, who’s contribution is equally paramount.