Trolley Talkies: Farmers’ ‘Atmanirbhar’ Mass Media Alternative

‘Trolley Times’ team said it will be a platform to express solidarity through music, art, satire, and theatre.

3 min read
Members of Trolley Times team said it will be a platform to express solidarity through music, art, satire, and theatre.

While the farmers’protest at the borders of Delhi await a breakthrough on their demands to repeal the three contentious farm laws, there are other “green shoots” of innovation.

One such idea, Trolley Times, a four-page biweekly newspaper meant for intra-farmer communication, has witnessed a rapid evolution in terms of response and ideas. The primary aim behind starting a newspaper for has been two-fold:

  • To enable every farmer across different protest sites to know the developments at the protest stages and with the government.
  • To show the critics of the movement the intellectual abilities of the protesting farmers for they have often been branded gullible, uneducated and naive.

However, since the publication of the newspaper in Punjabi and Hindi and the rapturous reception it received, several new ideas have since germinated over the last one week.

Trolley Times is set to expand into Trolley Talkies, an “alternate medium” for people to express “solidarity with the farmers”.

“This is a parallel initiative to print media. Now, based on the response that we got here, we felt we need a parallel space to showcase solidarity also. There are many who want to show their solidarity but are unable to get the space,”said Ajay Pal Natt, a doctor from Punjab’s Mansa District and co-founder of the newspaper.

Trolley Talkies

Ajay Pal Natt explains that the primary idea behind starting a digital platform is to let the protesting farmers know they are not alone. Natt, who himself has been at Tikri border since 27 December, says lakhs of farmers have been here, many of whom are unable to know about the magnitude of support pouring in for them.

“Trolley Talkies is a new idea on which we are working. Trolley talkies will be an alternate medium which speaks for the people,” Natt said, adding “it is an initiative to let the supporters express themselves and tell the protesting farmers that all these people are there behind you, supporting you.”

“Moreover, we will be also be appealing internationally that if you have a message, be it through videos, music or satire, Trolley Talkies will showcase them. This will be through cyber media so that it can reach out to a larger audience. But the basic idea is to tell the farmers that they are not alone.”
Ajay Pal Natt, co-founder, Trolley Times

Soldiarity Through Art & Culture

Members of the publication say that art and culture are essential aspects of any movement.

Moreover, for the protesters, the stages built at Tikri, Singhu and the other border protest sites have been sacrosanct spaces meant for farmers to speak on their issues. Neither politicians nor performers have been allowed to speak or perform there.

“Several artists from various fields have come here but no one has been allowed to go up on stage and perform. The stage at Tikri and Singhu are serious platforms for farmers and protesters to show solidarity,” said Varun, who handles digital media for Trolley Times.

The Quint has learnt that discussions are on to have an open air theatre where issues related to farmers will be the focus. “We are planning to start with this and are also exploring the possibility of intelligent talk shows by farmers which will also be up on Instagram, YouTube and Facebok,” Varun further added.

“We are not professional media persons. We have come here to register our protest. But I feel the message behind Trolley Times has come through and now people across India and even in many other countries want to express their support and solidarity for the farmers at the border.”

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