Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee on Saturday visited Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border to extend support to the farmers’ movement against the Centre’s contentious farm laws, according to a BKU statement.
The 84-year-old Bhattacharjee, who is also the chairperson of National Gandhi Museum, exhorted farmers to remain peaceful in their protest and urged the government to “take care” of the farming community.
She was joined by Gandhi Smarak Nidhi chairman Ramchandra Rahi, All-India Sarv Seva Sangha managing trustee Ashok Saran, Gandhi Smarak Nidhi director Sanjay Singha and National Gandhi Museum director A Annamalai.
“We have not come here as part of any political programme. We have come here today for the farmers, who have fed all of us our whole life,” Bhattacharjee said, according to the statement by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), the farmers union leading the protest.
“We are because of you all. In the benefit of farmers lies the benefit of the country and all of us,” she was quoted as telling the protesters, who are camping at Ghazipur since November with a demand that the Centre repeal the three new farm laws and make a new one to guarantee minimum support price (MSP) for crops.
She recalled that the first fight for independence from the British rule in 1857 had also started from Meerut in western Uttar Pradesh.
Bhattacharjee said she has come to the protest site to pray for the farmers, according to the statement issued by BKU’s media in-charge Dharmendra Malik.
“I want that whatever happens, farmers should be benefitted by it. Nobody is unaware of the hard work that the farmers do and it is not to be said again that in the benefit of farmers lies the benefit of our country, and all of us,” she said.
Thousands of farmers are camping at Delhi’s border points of Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur since November in protest against the three farm laws enacted by the Centre in September.
They claim that the new laws and lack of a law on MSP would hurt their livelihoods while the government has maintained that the legislations are pro-farmer. The impasse continues even after 11 rounds of formal talks between the government and farmers.