In the wake of two contentious agriculture bills passed by Rajya Sabha last week, farmers' protests have broken out across Punjab and Haryana. Hundreds of farmer unions have called for multiple protests in the coming days, including a total shutdown on September 25, against the two agriculture bills passed by the Parliament amid ruckus by the Opposition and a war of words between the two sides.
Amid protests, popular Punjabi singer Gurdas Mann took to his social media accounts to show solidarity with farmers. "Kisaan hai, teh Hindustaan hai. Sarbat Da bhala hovey" (India exists because of farmers. Let good prevail for all).
Mann, who was often wooed by political parties, thanks to his fandom in Punjab and Haryana, was made an icon of Punjab polls by the Election Commission in 2016. In wake of the police using force and water cannons to disperse agitating farmers in Punjab, the singer's tweet which preceded the widescale protests is being seen as a subtle hint at farmer solidarity.
Punjab’s iconic singer,who has been often wooed by top political parties till Election Commission made him a brand ambassador for state polls, has a strong message to say without getting into merit of the bills.Many still identify him with Challa, Dil Da Mamla, Pind Diya Galiya.. https://t.co/jgqZryTyaz— Rohan Dua (@rohanduaTOI) September 20, 2020
Mann previously courted controversy when he supported the BJP's pitch for One Nation One Language in 2019. In an interview given to a Canadian news outlet, Mann had said that he thought it essential for a nation to have one common language.
While Mann's post has over 200k likes, many commented on how the singer had not done anything other than put up a social media post. Many also commented on his posing with farming tools like a spade to signify his farm connect. One user wrote, "While I Was passing by in my car, I saw some MNREGA workers along the way. I picked up his pan and spade and stood in the middle of a wheat farm and became a farmer. Isn't it so easy?" Yet another wrote, "Let me take a photo. It will help me show solidarity for farmers".
मैं कार से जा रहा था, रास्ते मे मुझे मनरेगा मे काम करने वाले मजदूर दिखे ,मैंने उनका तसली फावड़ा लेकर गेहुं के कटे हुए खेत में जाकर अच्छे से पोज में फोटो ली और मैं किसान बन। है ना कितना आसान https://t.co/FHSLTcptmw— Krishna choudhary (@Krishna19757919) September 20, 2020
Mann, however, is not the only Punjabi musician to come out in support of the protesting farmers. Popular UK-based Punjabi singer Malkit Singh also took to social media to express his support for Jatt farmers. On a live chat with his fans, Singh said that the farmers had his full support and also sought other NRIs to join the outrage as well.
The Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, were passed in Parliament amid widescale protests from Opposition.