5 leaders who are heading farmers' protests

Farmers' protest: Five leaders at the forefront of the agitation

Farmers have not relented an inch to the government in their demand to withdraw the new farm laws

A farmer shouts slogans as police use water canon to disperse farmers. Credit: AFP Photo

As protests continue for the third straight day on the borders of Delhi, farmers have relentlessly agitated demanding the government withdraw the new farm laws implemented in September. 

Farmers from mostly Punjab and Haryana marched to Delhi where they were met with water cannons and tear gas from Delhi and Haryana police but have stayed put at the capital’s border. The protestors include a number of groups that look out for the interest of the farmers. 

According to The Indian Express, some of the leaders at the forefront of the protest are—

Jagmohan Singh (64)

He is the General Secretary of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda) and one of the most active farmer leaders in Punjab. Owner of 5-acre farming land, he became a full-time activist three decades ago and is the go-to person for farming issues and policies. 

In 1993, he left his government job in the Department of Cooperatives and joined Bharti Kisan Ekta (BKU). A postgraduate and diploma holder, he is an expert in acupuncture therapy and is able to dedicate all his time to activism because his wife has a job in the postal department.

Gurnam Singh Chaduni (64)

Known for his unique ways of protesting (like throwing potatoes on the state highway), farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni, is one of the first to have started mobilising farmers against the newly passed farm laws.

He led a successful agitation in 2008 for farm loan waiver. In 2019, he and other farmers climbed an eighty-feet water-tank demanding that the state purchase their sunflower crop. He came down only after the government agreed to purchase the entire produce.

Mahinder Singh (50)

Mahinder Singh has 18 cases against him in connection with farmer protests such as rail roko, jail bharo. A farm activist for 23 years and a farmer himself, he has dedicated his life to farmer activism. He and his two brothers farm in a 21-acre-land in Bhiani Bagh, Mansa district, Punjab.

Satnam Singh Pannu (65)

A staunch opposer of the farm laws, President of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangarsh Committee continued protesting on the tracks near Amritsar even after other groups called off their dharnas.

The committee formed in 2000 is active in 10 districts of Punjab and welcomes both farmers and farm labourers. 

Bhupinder Singh Longowal (35)

Representing the younger generation, Longowal has reeled in youth in the ongoing protests. With a postgraduate in Political Science, he has been a farmer activist since his student days and has been a member of Punjab Students Union. He later joined Kirti Kisan Union. As a small farmer with 2 acres of land and a family debt of 7.5 lakh, he is dedicated to the farmers’ cause.