Due to ever-reducing finances from foreign sources, the agitation by farmers mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh is breathing its last — or so it seems. The scene at the epicentre of the movement for more than four-and-a-half months, the Singhu border, has changed. Almost gone is the fragrance of langars, delicious dishes, pizzas, burgers, kheer and jalebi.
A few peasant protesters are appear loitering around listlessly at the Singhu border, listening to equally uninspiring orators, putting the rest of the crowd to sleep. Once Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu was arrested following the Red Fort riot, there appears nobody among the protesters who can still enthrall the Punjabi youth.
Mostly, the elderly continue to occupy the space, with their numbers suggesting they are on the verge of giving up. An onlooker told our reporter, “These people can no longer mislead us on agricultural laws.” Even last week, some enthusiasm was noticed among the youths just arriving from Punjab and Haryana at the Singhu border. The arrivals have now reduced to a trickle.
No masseur/masseuse or shoeshine boy appears on the spot. Langars are still organised, but empty dishes await some takers. As the movement turned into a drag, both people in the country sympathetic to the activists and foreign powers — mostly Khalistanis and the crowd of the woke as in Canada and the UK — have stopped the funding. Earlier, many immigrants from other countries used to openly announce financial assistance from the platform.
Many organisations would add fuel to the fire, pumping in money from foreign sources. They have now pulled back. Worried, orators are now invariably heard begging for funds.
Prabhu Dayal, who works in an establishment on the Singhu Border, says that people who bring food items in big and expensive cars are missing. “A large number of people involved in the dharna have returned home,” he said.
Dinesh of Singhu village says, “People cannot be kept glued to a movement by means of tricks. They saw through the political motivation for the demonstrations. Batches of tractors no longer arrive from Punjab because foreign as well as domestic sponsors of the agitation have stopped reimbursing the cost on fuels. This movement is looking like an asthmatic patient whose breath becomes stagnant for a while.”