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Wrestlers to cricketers - Sportspersons who have supported farmers' protest

Wrestlers to cricketers - Sportspersons who have supported farmers protest
Sportspersons spoke in support of farmers' protest

Md Imtiaz

Updated: 21 March 2022 8:02 AM GMT

The farm laws being repealed by the Indian govt drew much relief to many on Friday, including many sportspersons who had earlier lent their voice to protests against it. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced. "we have taken back the laws." sending a wave of joy among the protestors. The repeal is a huge victory for the Indian farmers who have been protesting against what they called the "Black Laws". The announcement came on the day when Sikhs - a dominant community in Punjab are celebrating Guru Nanak Jayanti, the birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism.

Professional Indian boxer Vijender Singh was the first Indian sportsperson to celebrate the victory of farmers, he tweeted saying, "#kisaneektazindabad" which means, hail the unity of farmers.

Farmers' protest against the centre's three controversial laws, which they say will leave them at the mercy of corporates, has seen a tremendous outpouring of support on social media as international pop star Rihanna, climate campaigner Greta Thunberg, and lawmakers from the United States and the United Kingdom tweeted about the agitation that began late November near Delhi's borders.

When the national capital witnessed a massive tractor rally and subsequent clashes on Republic Day, multiple barricades and barbed fences had been put up on the outskirts, which the demonstrators had defined as "extreme measures". Amid rising controversies, athletes also joined the bandwagon in showing their support from across several disciplines including wrestlers, boxers, athletes, cricketers. Here is the list of athletes who voiced their support for the farmers:

Bajrang Punia

The World Championships bronze-medallist wrestler has been constantly vocal about his pro-farmer stands on Twitter. Further, he tweeted in solidarity with journalist Mandeep Punia, who is a freelancer with The Caravan, was on an assignment to cover the ongoing farmers' protest at Singhu. According to the report, as he was moving through barricades he was picked up a group of policemen forcibly along with another journalist Dharmender Singh.

Bajrang Tweeted

'The same Supreme Court that held an emergency hearing for Arnab (Goswami) is now silent on the arrest of Manpreet Punia. Think about it, this is not correct for a democracy. Journalists' voice should not be silenced like this. Why is a democracy being changed into a dictatorship? Listen to the farmer's voice, don't suppress it,'

Vinesh Phogat

Expressing solidarity with the ongoing farmers' protest against the new agriculture laws, Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has come out in support, saying that they just want respect for their hard work.

Taking to Twitter on Sunday, the Khel Ratna awardee wrote (translated from Hindi), "Tired of speaking, now I just want a solution. I do not want anyone else's rights but just want respect for my hard work #Farmersprotest..."

Sushil Kumar

India's two-time Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar has extended his support to the agitating farmers and urged the Central government to listen to their demands.

"The government should make good decisions and make the farmers happy, the whole country runs on the work done by farmers, the issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible. The farmers have been protesting for a long time now, so the issue needs a solution quickly," Sushil told ANI.

Vijender Singh

India's first Olympic medal-winning boxer Vijender Singh has joined the growing list of sporting icons who have thrown their weight behind the protesting farmers and threatened to return their awards to protest the contentious new agricultural laws brought by the Centre. The 2008 bronze medallist reached Singhu border and told the protesting farmers that he would return his Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna – the country's highest sporting honour – if the government doesn't withdraw the "black laws".

"I have trained in Punjab and eaten their bread. They have been protesting in this biting cold and I have arrived here as a son and a brother. Other athletes from Haryana wanted to come too but they have government jobs and fear repercussions. I am in touch with them and they are with our farmers," Vijender, who fought the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from South Delhi on a Congress ticket, told reporters.

Arpinder Singh

Triple jumper Arpinder Singh, who hails from Amritsar, told, reporters, "Though we don't have enough agriculture land, my father is still doing farming. If these laws are not repealed, the farmer community will not survive."

Tejinder Pal Toor

Shot putter Tejinder Pal Toor said: "Asi kisan de putt haan (I'm the son of a farmer). The government is doing injustice to the farmers. They should immediately listen to the farmers and repeal the laws."

Kartar Singh (ex-olympian)

Led by two-time Asian Games gold-winning former wrestler Kartar Singh, a few sportspersons from Punjab on Monday marched towards the Rashtrapati Bhavan to return "35 national sports awards" in a show of solidarity with farmers agitating against new agriculture laws but were stopped midway by the police. Kartar, who has presented the Arjuna award in 1982 and Padma Shri in 1987, was accompanied by Olympic gold-winning former hockey player Gurmail Singh and former women's hockey captain Rajbir Kaur among others. While Gurmail is a 2014 Dhyanchand awardee, Rajbir was bestowed the Arjuna in 1984.

Harbhajan Singh

Indian bowler, Harbhajan Singh tweeted about this protest. This tweet of Harbhajan Singh has started going viral. In support of farmers, Harbhajan shared a post on social media on Wednesday. The Indian bowler said that farmers are our honor. His tweet has become quite viral. Many fans are thanking him for supporting farmers.

At the same time, a fan even told Harbhajan that it would have been good, if he would have performed dharna. Fan said that harbhajan is the pride of Punjab

Mandeep Singh

Kings XI Punjab cricketer Mandeep Singh has also joined the protests with his brother. Mandeep Singh posted a picture of himself with his brother and a few others. Mandeep Singh also spoke to a newspaper and said that had his father been alive he would have also joined the protests. "I went there to show my support to all the senior citizens, who are peacefully protesting in this biting cold," he said.

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