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The Valorous Voice Of Farmers Protest

Farmer’s Protest saw a lot of musicians and artists joining the fight with farmers against farm laws. One such artist was Kanwar Grewal, 35, a Punjabi singer from a farmer family in Bathinda. He actively engaged in the Protest and stood with his fellow farmers. His heart-touching songs that carry loads of emotion and depth within them played a vital role in protests. His songs like ‘Pecha,’ ‘Ailaan,’ and ‘Aakhri Faisla’ have garnered many accolades. 

Grewal’s one of the most popular songs is ‘Ailaan,’ the first version of the song was viewed over six million times before it was taken down on YouTube. The song’s chorus, “Faslaan de faisley kisaan karuga”, meaning “decisions about farming will be taken by the farmers”, became a rallying cry for the protesting farmers.

On November 7, the musician released his new song ‘Sek,’ an emotional musical on the plight of protesting farmers, the song focuses on the deaths of farmers during the protests and talks about the sorrow that their families have to face.

The song says, “Phulne ni sokhe jehde…hatha vicho khuss gye ne…chup ho gye bolde ni jo…ve haakmaa…tati badi siveya di loa,” translating into We can’t forget those who lost their lives…… Their lives slipped from our hands and they never spoke again…… O tyrant the heat of their ashes is too hot.

Another lyric says, “Tyer tera saadi jado…hikk utte chad’da…ho putta nu na labhde piyo…ve haakmaa…tati badi siveya di loa,” translating into When your tire rammed our bodies… A son lost his father forever… Can’t find him again…O tyrant…The heat of their ashes is too hot.

In an interview with frontline, when Grewal was asked What made him participate and sing in the protests he said, “When the protests started, no one really told me to sing. I come from a farmer’s family and I know the value of the produce and the effort that goes into it. Even though I have no experience of working in the fields, I know the importance of it in my life. I could empathise with the people who were sitting on protest. When I saw 70- and 80 -year-olds sitting there on protest, I realised they were doing it for us, the younger generation. After all they have few years ahead of them, but they were sacrificing those years of their lives for us. This is the first time that I got to know about the jathebandis [farmer organisations]. I had some pedestrian knowledge about them but never had an occasion to interact with them earlier.”

When asked about the lyrics of his songs and how they connect with people he replied “To be honest, before the protest, people were singing the usual kind of songs which had to do with romance forms, gun culture, drugs, etc. They were not critical of what was happening in society. But after the protests began, many singers have come forward to participate in whichever way they can. People began to see things differently. After the events of January 26, there was a sadness all over, but we soon did live shows at the Tikri and Shahjahanpur protest points and we began singing those songs again. The role of music in expressing emotions—we call them khushiyaan and gamiyaan (joy and sadness)—is typical of the songs in our country. It’s universal. Thanks to this government, there are protests almost every day, by students, teachers, employees. But Kanwar Grewal has never come forward to sing earlier. I never sang any protest songs before. I feel very responsible now for what is happening around me.”

Grewal’s soulful music is widely known on the social media front as well, Here are some of the posts by his fans: 



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