Balbir Singh Rajewal is a Senior Farmer Leader, Ex-Indian Army Officer, and representative of the Bharatiya Kisan Union. He was born in 1943 and his birthplace is Village Rajewal, Khanna, Ludhiana, Punjab. He did his schooling at A.S.Higher Secondary School, Khanna, and graduated from Anglo Sanskrit College, Khanna. He is the founder of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) and the Chief Ministerial candidate of Sanyukt Samaj Morcha.
More about Balbir Singh Rajewal
Rajewal started his career as a telegraphist in the post and telegraph department but in 1968 he resigned from his job.
In May 1972, he formed ”Punjab Khetibari Union” with the merger of 11 peasants groups in Chandigarh.
After that, Punjab Khetibari Union transformed into Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) in 1978 and he was appointed as Secretary of the Union.
Rajewal is also credited for writing the Constitution of BKU and worked with Mahendra Singh Tikait (Uttar Pradesh) and Sharad Anantrao Joshi (Maharashtra).
In 2009, he went on hunger strike and demanded relief for farmers under draught funds, and then the Government granted 800 crore rupees for the same.
Balbir Singh is also a President of the Managing Committee of Malwa College Bondli, Samrala.
Throughout the year, Rajewal guided the Akalis and Congress in drawing up designs for farming improvement in the state.
In 2020, the Government of India passed three farm acts, along with other 31 Farmer Unions in Punjab, he started protesting against these laws in Punjab and then at Singhu Border near Delhi at Haryana.
He is also a member of Samyukt Kisan Morcha and the 22 Farm Unions of Punjab announced to participate in the 2022 Punjab assembly election and Balbir Singh Rajewal has been announced to be Chief Minister face by the Unions.
Indian Farmers’ Protest
In Punjab, small-scale protests had started in August 2020 when the Farm Bills were made public. It was only after the passage of the acts that more farmers and farm unions across India joined the protests against the reforms.
Balbir Singh coordinated with other Kisan unions grom different states like Haryana, Rajasthan, and Western Uttar Pradesh.
On 24 September 2020, farmers started a “Rail roko” campaign, following which train services to and from Punjab were affected.
On the Republic Day Kisan Parade, some of the protestors entered the Red Fort of Delhi, and climbed a flagpole in front of the fort, and hoisted the religious flag Nishan Sahib.
After that, Balbir Singh wrote an open letter to farmers in Punjabi asking them not to believe in various rumors being spread to defame the historic farmer struggle against the central farm laws.
In the open letter addressed to farmers, Rajewal has mentioned that this struggle now is not only limited to the farmers and or the struggle of Punjab or Haryana but it has turned into a ‘Jan Andolan’ in right earnest which has spread to Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and many other parts of the country.
Later, it has attracted attention in many countries as well as elected representatives in many countries are writing to their respective governments to take up the matter with the Indian government.
Balbir Singh Rajewal along with other farm leaders like Gurnam Singh Charuni, Rakesh Tikait, and other Kisan union leaders made it possible for the struggle to be well managed and completely peaceful.
In late November 2021, the Modi administrators finally repealed All three farm bills. Hundreds of farmers danced and celebrated the victory they began removing roadblocks and dismantling thousands of makeshift homes along major highways.
In December 2021, the protests were finally declared over and the farmers started returning to their homes.