Soldier Turned Farmer: Joginder Singh, the Face of Farmer Protest
Singh founded the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) in the year 2002.
As the farmers’ protest against the three new agricultural laws introduced by the government intensified, on 29 November, Home Minister Amit Shah personally called and spoke to three farmer leaders.
One of them was Joginder Singh Ugrahan, who is the head of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan). This 75-year-old is now emerging to be the face of this massive farmer agitation.
Who is Joginder Singh 'Ugrahan'?
According to a report in India Today, Joginder Singh was born in 1945. He had four brothers and four sisters. In 1975, Singh joined the Indian Army.
However, due to family reasons, he resigned from the job and returned to his village. In the years that followed, he took up farming. With just five acres of farming land, he runs his farming operations.
How Was the Union Formed?
Singh founded the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) in the year 2002, to address the problems of the small-scale farmers in Punjab. Over the years, because of his image as an honest farmer leader, several farmers joined the organisation.
At present, it is one of the most prominent farmers unions of Punjab, with a high number of women members.
Unlike that other farmer unions, the Bharatiya Kisan Union has kept its distance from political parties.
How the Protests Reached Delhi
Talking to The Indian Express, Ugrahan said that his 'Bharatiya Kisan Union Ugrahan' started protesting from 15 September and then his party members laid siege to the house of former CM Parkash Singh Badal in Patiala.
He also demonstrated against Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh at the PUDA Ground in Patiala.
On 22 September, the party ended the protest there and started an indefinite blockade of railways in six places in Punjab from 24 September. The party also protested at shopping malls, corporate petrol pumps, toll plazas and at the homes of BJP leaders.
Singh said that corporates want to grab the agricultural sector and his party is agitating against this.
'Govt Should Allow Farmers to Protest at Jantar Mantar'
When Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Singh over the phone and requested him to shift the protest to Nirankari Bhawan Burari, he said: “We understand that a lot of people have problems with the closure of roads. But we are not ready to go to Burari. The home minister should allow us to hold a demonstration at Jantar Mantar.”
But Delhi Police has not accepted the demand of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC). Everyone can protest at Jantar Mantar, so why can't we?” Singh said, while talking about the future of the protests.
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