In a unique show of stir against the three controversial farm laws enacted by the Central government, agitating farmers during their historic "tractors parade" on Tuesday at the Singhu border displayed tableaus from across different states depicting glimpses of village life, history of the farmers' movement in India, the role of women farmers and various farming practices still followed in the country.
It was the first time when the usual Republic Day parade at Rajpath was joined by the grand Kisan Gantantra Parade from three locations outside the national capital.
All hail the farmers
People from many states, including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan reached the borders in huge numbers to show solidarity with the protesting farmers.
"It's not a rally, it's a parade. We have appointed 1 lakh volunteers as there is already so much crowd," Ruldu Singh, Punjab Kisan Union state president, told The New Indian Express.
According to the organisers, about one-third of the tractor-trolleys participating in the parade will have tableaux.
In addition, children from Vidarbha in Maharashtra also reportedly planned a tableau on farmer suicides. Tableaus from states like Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand displayed how fruits and vegetables are cultivated in the hilly regions, while participants from Punjab and Haryana chose to showcase the use of traditional and modern technologies in crop farming, the organisers said further.
Show of a peaceful protest
It was a show of peaceful protest, where nobody was allowed to carry arms along with them.
Videos showed each tractor held a tricolour flying high in the sky, along with folk music and patriotic songs signifying the mightiness of united India.
Organisers said that a war room with around 40 members, including doctors, security personnel and social media managers, was also set up at each protest site to ensure effective coordination and public safety during the parade.
Sukhdeep Singh, the sarpanch of Sarna in Fatehgarh Sahib, told News Click that the parade will be a befitting reply to the people who have questioned the farmers' credentials, labelling them as being associated with 'Khalistani extremists' and 'foreign terrorists'.
"This is the first time when the farmers' tractors will run on the roads of the national capital roads. We are Indians but the government has been treating us otherwise. It should look at our situation. Please repeal the laws. It's in everyone's interest."
The rally began at 10 a.m. today and the tractors moved in the same order as they have been camped at the protest site.
The role of banner and signboards
Thousands of farmers who have been protesting at multiple locations outside the borders of the national capital against the new farm laws have now put up banners reading "repeal the farm laws" and related signboards at various places on the National Highway.
Reports say that the farmers' banners affixed to signboards on National Highways 24 and 9 read: "Shoo away corporates, save the country and take back black laws".
These farmers have been camping out at several entry points to Delhi since late November, last year, in protest against the government's three farm laws which they claim are intended to hurt the local produce and their incomes and leave them merciless at hands of big corporates.
The Republic Day event coincided with the two-month anniversary of the farmers' agitation which began on November 26 last year. When the farmers were then denied entry into the capital by the Delhi police, they camped at the borders, with Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur and Chilla being the major.