Ghazipur: After Tikait's appeal, hundreds of farmers, students join protest
After Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait broke down at the Ghazipur protest site on Thursday night, appealing to farmers from western Uttar Pradesh to join, hundreds—including not only farmers but also students from different universities/colleges—arrived at the site by Friday. His emotional appeal lent new energy to protesters at Delhi-UP's Ghazipur border as they vowed to "payback" for his tears. Here's more.
Calls were made, messages were sent, videos were widely shared
Tikait's tears apparently revived a thinning protest at Ghazipur; calls were made and messages sent immediately on Thursday asking people from western UP to boost the crowd at the site—which UP's Ghaziabad administration sought to vacate by Thursday night. Even videos of Tikait breaking down were widely shared by protesters following which by Friday, hundreds, including students arrived, raising slogans like, "Rakesh Tikait Zindabad."
Posters supporting Tikait were also put up
In fact, many put up posters supporting Tikait in the western UP region. One such poster, by a youth club from Uttar Pradesh's Amroha, read, "Tikait sahab ke ek ek aansu ka hisaab karke jayenge (We will settle scores for each tear shed by Tikait)."
Uttar Pradesh Students' Union President mobilized students to Ghazipur border
Shubham Rathi, the State President of the Uttar Pradesh Students' Union (UPSU), was among those who made calls to mobilize students to Ghazipur. "After the January 26 event, we had gone into depression, but we were determined to continue even then. Some people had started packing up though. But after Baba (Tikait) broke down, there was no chance of being depressed," he said.
'It's a fight till the end now'
"It's a fight till the end now — do or die. There's no turning back," Rathi further said. "We will mobilize more and more students and youth in the coming days," the UPSU State President added.
They have to take the laws back: Rathi
"This BJP government has tried all the tactics to send us back. But they are now on the back foot," Rathi said. "They have to take the laws back. Most of the people who are here voted for them. If they don't (repeal the three newly-enacted central farm laws), they will face repercussions in state elections," the UPSU State President added.
More students from different parts of UP to reach Ghazipur
Harshit Dhariwal, a student of Meerut's Chaudhary Charan Singh University, was among those who reached Ghazipur by Friday. "I was watching the news...saw the video of him (Tikait) crying. The worry and sadness...moved me. Our leader was brought to tears, we can't forgive," he said, adding many more students, including nearly 180 students from Muzaffarnagar, Dhanaura, and Gajraula, were on the way to Ghazipur.
'Tikait couldn't bear what was being done to peaceful movement'
Meanwhile, Nitin Chaudhary, a student of Bareilly's Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Rohilkhand University, who also arrived in Ghazipur, said, "People have been saying all kinds of wrong things about our leader." "He didn't cry because he's weak but because he couldn't bear to stand what was being done to this peaceful movement. Now we will go back only after the laws are repealed," he said.