Amidst Kisan camaraderie, Punjabi langar culture rubs off on Haryana
As farmers marched on foot and tractor to Delhi from the Punjab in the early morning of November 27 more than a year ago, dozens of people from Jind village to Pauli reached the Patiala-Jind-national highway. Delhi to welcome them with homemade dishes. What was meant to be a one-time gesture of ‘kisan camaraderie’ quickly turned into permanent language in Pauli to ensure that every farmer traveling to Delhi to join the protests through this route was offered food during the event. this stopover 24 hours a day.
Recalling the first day, a villager said, “The cavalcade of vehicles, mostly tractor-tractors, was nearly 100 km long on the Patiala-Jind-Delhi highway.
As more and more Punjabi farmers continued to come, the residents of Pauli considered making a permanent arrangement. They even hired a halwai to make candy first and then the langar started.
A similar ‘kisan langar’ was started near the nearby village of Jhanj Kalan (Jind) where community food is still offered to farmers. The Bastara toll booth in Karnal and the Panipat toll booth are among the few other langar locations in Haryana that continuously provide food to farmers en route to the Delhi borders, with the exception of several langars on dharna sites at the borders. Near Gohana (Panipat), there is also a “lassi langar” where lassi is offered to agitator farmers.
A key member of Jhanj Kalan’s langar committee and union activist, Kapoor Singh, said: “We had no langar culture in Haryana before. However, we have been running bhandaras (community food) for religious functions for about 1 to 2 days.
A leader farmer from Hisar, Suresh Koth, said: “Langar culture has spread from Punjab to Haryana during the continued agitation of farmers. During our previous unrest in Haryana, farmers mainly came to protest sites after eating at home. At most, they were offered tea and pakodas. However, Gurnam Singh Chaduni, originally from Kurukshetra district and from the similar culture of Punjab, had also earlier opted for this langar model. Now, at almost every toll station in Haryana there is a langar-type system that can be used at any time. “
At Jhanj Kalan Langar on the Patiala-Jind-Delhi Highway from November 24-26 this year, community food was prepared for nearly 50,000 farmers, mostly from the Punjab, who were en route to Delhi’s borders to mark the first anniversary of their agitation against three agricultural laws. Initially, members of the Electricity Employees Union launched this langar on December 13 of last year. Soon volunteers from All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and a CITU union showed up to manage langar in a systematic way. Then aid started pouring in from 150 neighboring villages.
Kapoor Singh added: “Up to Rs 30 lakh has been given in cash for the langar. It was difficult to maintain a record of supply of milk, lassi, vegetables and langar ration, but it must be worth Rs 1.5 crore.
Not only that, a farmer, Virender Ghoghria, donated a machine to cook chapatis at the Langar site, while a group of farmers provided a solar power system to ensure an electricity supply there. uninterrupted. From now on, a message on the WhatsApp group is enough to ensure the supply of lassi, milk or fresh vegetables from neighboring fields to change his clothes.
Kapoor Singh said, “We offer tea and food (roti-sabji and rice) 24 hours a day. On normal days, farmers between 500 and 800 people come to our langar daily. Occasionally, we also offer kheer, halwa, pakodas and puri. We will celebrate the one-year completion of our langar on December 13th to which the senior leaders of Samyukt Kisan Morcha will also be invited. The langar will continue until the last tractor cart returns from the Delhi border.