Farmers' tractor parade was not only of tractors

Last Updated 26 January 2021, 16:30 IST

Horses, e-rickshaws, autorickshaws, cycles, motorcycles, cars, buses, trucks and even excavators: The grand tractor parade, a show of strength by farmers on Republic Day, exhibited a battery of vehicles and modes of transport.

Nihal Singh, who travelled in an autorickshaw with his friends from Hoshiarpur, Punjab, said they had hired the vehicle for a day.

"We came to Singhu on foot on Monday morning and wanted to cover the entire parade route walking, but we were a little tired. So, we hired an autorickshaw," the 36-year-old said.

The group of four people paid Rs 2,500 to the driver and shared their food with him.

Sukhdev Singh and Dhaminder Singh, two brothers from Faridkot, had come to the Singhu border a week ago, leaving their parents alone at home.

"Father wanted that we do not miss out on it. A true Sikh never backs off when duty calls," Dharminder said. On Tuesday, the two drove an e-rickshaw in the tractor parade.

"The e-rickshaw belongs to the NGO we have been working with. It's a free service to provide relief to people who may get tired of walking," Sukhdev Singh, 23, said.

At the steering wheel of a JCB machine, Surjit Sandhu flashed a victory sign as locals waved at him.

"I brought it to remove the barricades. We won't stop here," the farmer from Rajpura shouted as the music blaring from speakers dimmed his voice.

A group of Nihang Sikh warriors traversed the parade route riding their horses.

"The horse is our tractor," one of them said, as the animal galloped ahead of the vehicles.

A bunch of youngsters rode their Royal Enfield parallel to each other, in perfect sync, with the Tricolour strapped to their pillion.

Hundreds of others covered the route of the 63-kilometre-long parade that originated from Singhu on their motorcycles, singing patriotic songs and shouting slogans.

A private bus and a truck, too, were seen carrying farmers holding flags of their organisation, the Tricolour and shouting slogans against the government.

(Published 26 January 2021, 16:30 IST)

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