Farmers’ Tractor Rally: Hundreds Of Women To Participate
In a show of strength, hundreds of women are expected to drive tractors at 'Kisan Gantantra Parade' on Republic Day, as a large number of farmers opposing the new farm laws will enter the national capital under high security cover.
Social activist Zeba Khan said women will be participating in the tractor rally shoulder to shoulder with their male peers.
Khan, who is among the women participating in the rally, claimed that at least 500 women will be in attendance on Tuesday.
"Women's contribution was invaluable during India's freedom struggle. On Tuesday also, we will be there to make our contribution to this movement," she said.
The activist, who hails from a family of farmers in Jharkhand, added that the rally was a crucial moment in their agitation which was "no less than a freedom struggle".
"The three farm laws are similar to the pre-Independence shackles of slavery. Through this agitation, we are making our presence noticed, and exercising our right to enter Delhi," she said.
Farmer unions opposing the three contentious farm laws have maintained that their parade will not enter central Delhi, and will start only after the Republic Day parade concludes.
The unions have claimed that around two lakh tractors will be there in the parade which will move into the city from three border points --- Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur (UP Gate).
Several rural women in Haryana's Jind district have reportedly been receiving training for the past one month to drive tractors to be able to participate in the tractor rally.
Thousands of farmers from different states have been protesting against the farm laws at various Delhi borders for nearly two months now.
A spokesperson of Jai Kisan Andolan (Swaraj Abhiyaan) said the farmers’ tractor rally is expected to start at around 11:30 am on Tuesday and set to continue for 10-12 hours.
"Fifty percent women in Punjab and Haryana know how to drive tractors. Our wives, mothers and sisters are like 'Jhansi ki Rani'," Ram Singh Rangreta, state secretary of Sangharsh Morcha, Ambedkar, said.
Gurmeet Singh, a protesting farmer from Patiala, said women's participation was key to the success of the agitation.
These are not just any women. These are daughters of farmers, and their participation will be proof of what the farmers are capable of, he asserted.
Enacted in September last year, the three farm laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of minimum support price and do away with the 'mandi' (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of large corporates.