Pagri Sambhal Jatta Movement
In 1907, Punjabi peasants agitated against three British laws – the Doab Bari Act, Punjab Land Colonisation Act, and the Punjab Land Alienation Act.
- The movement is called “Pagri Sambhal Jatta Movement”, since the ‘Pagri Sambhal Jatta’, a song by Banke Dayal, the editor of Jhang Saya, became an inspiration to the protesting farmers.
- Legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh’s Uncle Ajit Singh was the main organizer of the agitation.
- He was an early protester in the Punjab region who challenged British colonial rule. In 1907, he was deported to Mandalay Jail along with Lala Lajpat Rai.
- The autobiography of Ajit Singh is titled ‘Buried Alive’, in which he explained the Pagri Sambhal Jatta Movement which was organized as Lyallpur as the epicenter of protests.
How are the ongoing farmer’s protests related to the Pagri Sambhal Jatta Movement?
The ongoing protests of framers against the laws introduced in the parliament in September 2020 can be related in a way that back then also farmers wanted the three British laws to be taken back and today also farmers are protesting to take back the laws. Three reforms introduced today are- Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.
The bills aim to allow farmers to sell their produce outside ‘mandis’; to allow farmers to get into a contract with large retailers and agri-business companies and to remove commodities like pulses, cereals, oilseeds, onion, edible oils, and potatoes from the list of essential commodities.
Similar to the protests in 1907, the major portion of farmers protesting is from Punjab and Haryana. However, now farmers from other regions have also joined the protest.
Difference between 1907 protests and 2020 protests
The farmer protests in the year 1907 turned violent. The protests today in 2020 are completely peaceful.