KUSSA (MOGA): The fight of Punjab farmers and labourers facing forced land acquisition got an unexpected boost, with Booker winner Arundhati Roy advocating a joint struggle to stop this, whether it is in Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bengal or Punjab.
Talking to The Times of India, Roy also condemned the cane charge on farmers at Gobindpura village. Arundhati said she has come to know that some women resisting forced acquisition have sustained injuries. ''I salute their spirit.''
She also stressed on the need to organize a renewed and sustained struggle for ensuring equality, irrespective of caste, creed and financial position, to get rid of the ills afflicting civil society.
Roy, who had come to this dusty village to pay tributes to eminent playwright Gursharan Singh, said, ''He fought all his life against imperialistic forces which can only be defeated by joint efforts.''
Referring to usurping of vast natural resources by multinational companies, Arundhati said if the poorest people in the world, residing in Orissa and Chhattisgarh could keep the big companies at bay for more than five years, why can't those in other places (states) do so. She said the world takes inspiration from poor people's fight against the mighty.
Arundhati, her Hindi peppered with English words, said, ''Gursharan showcased people's anger against anti-people regimes. There is dire need for thousands of small stones (people) to join together to form a formidable wall, which could not be torn apart by big concerns or regimes. And writers, people in art and culture could work as cement in the building of this wall.''
She said lakhs of people from Punjab to Kerala, and Chhattisgarh to Orissa, are undertaking different struggles for their survival and well-being. But a bigger, collective fight is needed.
Roy pointed out that Punjab has 30% dalit population, out of which and 90% are landless, but the leftist forces have failed to fight for their cause altogether.
Earlier, paying rich tributes to Gursharan Singh, Roy, Sangeet Natak Akademi and Sahitya Akademi award winner playwrights Atamjit, Ajmer Aulakh, Gursharan's daughter Areet, Desh Bhagat Yadgar hall committee member Amolak Singh, playwrights Kewal Dhaliwal, Sahib Singh and others stressed on the need to carry forward Gursharan's legacy.