If I am a farmer, if this is my land, then how can the government tell me what to do with it? How can they arbitrate the amount of food that must be produced to feed my mouth, the mouths of my family members, of the nation that builds its backbone with the nourishment of that food?
The great Indian farmers protest was a renaissance. It was beyond a movement, ordinary chaos of protest. I had seen it with my eyes, I was there for around 5 days to support them. During the scorching heat and chill of the winter, there were many forces that were constantly changing the shape and theme of the protest.
Land of Mine is first of its kind novel that is based on the farmers protest in India, around Delhi border roads. I still remember except a few Indian news channels, all others were blaming, labeling, and jeopardizing it. Seperatists, Khalistanis, Pakistanis, Congressis…and blah…blah.
The mainstream media was absent, may be due to government pressure. It was a heartbreaking time for the country. Playing with farmers means no food, no future. Reading Land of Mine revived those days, news, memories, and much more. A great book, I must say, a bold one. The book is written by Saurav Dutt, of course insights were given by Sikh Activist Satwant Singh Johal.
The novel opens up with a village sizzling in anger in Punjab. It’s counting who is supporting, who is going there, and who not. A sixty plus old man ‘Sukhcharan Singh’ is reluctant about the current crises. He has land but no family to pass on the heritage. When Sukhcharan reaches the protest site, he is not only nonplussed to find the enormity of the protest but also feels for a personal contribution.
However, the novel is not merely focused on characters, they come and go, join the chorus, see the events and brutalities and many stay there. The novel is part political, part sentimental. I felt sorry for the people teargased and dredged up by the Delhi police. I read the novel slowly, laden with description of misery of the people attending the protest, of the police pushing and curbing them, games of the politicians.
The protest was open from many sides, police inspector Dodia after one time realizes his guilt, seeks transfer. Ms Garrick was hunting a controversial news piece, DCP Sarkar was adamant at his stance – like a stringent cop.
I know, clear cut, that I cannot sum up the melancholic intensity of the novel in my words yet I found it highly relatable and eye-opener sort of literature on the farmers protesting. Saurav’s narrative is subtle, packed, and this time abundant of vivid description of the chaos took place at the protesting borders.
No farmers! No food! No future! A personal movement for millions who came to show support with everything from India and abroad. The novel is a lovely tribute to all of their efforts.
If liked the review and you are curious about the story, please go ahead and buy your copy from Amazon/Kindle.