Reading books in the Farmers Protest at Singhu Border

In Cover Story

By Sarabjeet Garcha

I visited Singhu Border on 5 January with the Hindi poet Devi Prasad Mishra. After a 60 km drive, we were stopped short by the police at the barricade, beyond which our kin had been bivouacking for months.

“Why do you want to go there?” said the policeman.

“To join the farmers,” I said.

“Why?”

“To protest.”

“Show me the farmers’ flag or badge,” he demanded.

“I don’t have it,” I said.

“Then what do you have?”

“We have our heart.” It was Devi Prasad who spoke this time.

The policeman was still not convinced. He made show my ID, but was not ready to let us cross. When I told him I had brought supplies for the protestors, he asked me to open the boot of the car. I don’t know what he had expected, but a box full of books was perhaps the last thing on his mind.

“Kibaaein?” he said. “Who will read these there?”

“Please sit with them once,” I said. “You’ll know.”

He let me go, and I met this young man who was waiting for the books. In the photograph, Vishalpreet Singh is carrying a box containing books published by Copper Coin.

It’s time to meet the likes of Vishalpreet. Even if you can’t sit with them to protest, you can at least stand by them.

I stand by my kin, our own farmers.

#FarmersProtest

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