On the eve of Holi, on March 28, kisans at the protest sites around Delhi celebrated ‘Holika Dahan’ by burning copies of the three anti-kisan laws that they are demanding should be repealed.
In a statement, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), a joint front of several kisan organisations, said that the protesting kisans celebrated Holi at the borders and declared that their agitation will continue till the anti-kisan laws are repealed and a separate law on minimum support price is enacted. The SKM also announced that the kisans will observe April 5 as “FCI Bachao Diwas”. Offices of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) will be gheraoed from 11 am to 5 pm across the country on that day. This is in opposition to the systematic erosion of the role of the FCI in procurement in recent years.
“The government has made several attempts to end the minimum support price (MSP) and public distribution system (PDS) indirectly. The FCI’s budget has also been reduced over the last few years. Recently, the FCI also changed the rules for procurement of crops,” the statement said.
At the same time, the kisan organisations asserted that they cannot truly celebrate Holi until the laws are withdrawn and their demands are accepted.
The kisan organisations also condemned the passage of the Haryana Recovery of Damages to Property during Disturbance to Public Order Bill, 2021 by the Haryana Assembly, expressing the apprehension that it may be used to suppress the kisan agitation and other struggles of people.
On March 29, kisans at the Singhu border enthusiastically celebrated ‘Hola Mohla’ program. They were joined by women kisans from Haryana who pledged that kisans will continue to celebrate every festival at the protest sites until their demands are met.
At the Tikri border, kisans expressed their resolve to continue the struggle, through cultural programs on the main stage. They then carried out a campaign of cleaning the surrounding area as well.
Kisans celebrated Holi at the Ghazipur border as well, with customary fervor, despite the harsh conditions imposed on them by the state. Many people from Delhi and nearby areas joined in these celebrations. Lok Kala Manch Mandi Mullanpur enriched the kisans’ Holi celebrations with cultural programs. They performed a play, “Uthan da Vela”, which appealed to the kisans to remain united and strong in their struggle.