Punjab was wounded many times on the various journeys it undertook during the last century too. Its feet are pricked from the exile of Ajit Singh (Bhagat Singh’s paternal uncle and one of the leaders of ‘Pagadi Sambhal Jatta’ movement), the hangings of Kartar Singh Sarabha, Harnam Chand (Nahma Fansiwala) and Rehman Ali. The incarceration of other Ghadris blistered its feet. The bullets fired at innocent and peaceful protesters in Jallianwala Bagh are still lodged in its chest, and the bodies dropping dead and those writhing in pain are fresh in its memories.
The contusions from the torture of Akali movement protesters at the hands of rulers are still blue. The memories of gallows are imbibed in its consciousness where Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Udham Singh and others are hanging, even now. The partition of ‘47 impaled its heart, and the lives lost during the uprising of the 70s doubled its agony. The burns of the 80s tormented its body, and the massacres of ‘84 in Delhi and other cities stabbed its back. The helplessness of parents losing their children to drugs, and the woeful misery of families of farmers and labourers who took their own lives broke its spine.
The battered body of Punjab appeals the farmer leaders to stay united and to keep quelling the divisive agendas. Let’s remind ourselves what the wise poet Shamsudeen ‘Shams’ said, “Our differences ruined us, O friend, that’s why we’re in anguish today”.
The author of this article is Swarajbir. This article was published in the second edition of Trolley Times.