The ongoing farmers’ protest has entered the 24th day, farmers are protesting against the newly introduced farm laws and have gathered at Singh and Tiki border in Delhi. Today, a group of volunteers among the protesters launched a bi-weekly newspaper ‘Trolly Times’.
Lack of trust on national media forced the farmers to develop their own source for information to keep protesting farmers up to date on developments. The newspaper is exclusively for the protesters by the protesters.
“Inquilaab di talwar vichaaran di saan tey tez hondi ae (the sword of revolution is sharpened at the whetstone of ideas, a quote by Bhagat Singh),” read one of the lead headlines of the bilingual newsletter that has been named Trolley Times.
As reported by The Print, the bi-lingual is a result of a late-night conversation among some artists on a tractor-trolley at Singhu, it aims to touch every single corner of the kilometres-long agitation at Delhi’s borders and ensure that the message from the stage, latest developments in talks with the government and other such reports are easily accessible to the agitating farmers.
The first edition of the Trolley Times has three long-form articles and features in Gurmukhi, and photos, illustrations and a Hindi section for agitators from states other than Punjab.
As reported by The Print, Narinder Singh Bhinder, a theatre artiste from Patiala on board whose trolley this idea came to life said, “We reached here on 26 November and soon after the national media began calling us terrorists or Khalistani. But we are not those people at all. We are very attached to how to make this a peaceful protest.”
The newspaper is a brainchild of Surmeet Maavi who is from a journalistic background, as reported by ANI he said, “I have been part of the protest and I wanted to write about the experience. This is an attempt to do the same. I wanted to build communication and avoid any confusion. For example, there was confusion regarding the meeting between farmers and the government.”
The first edition of Trolley Times was printed in Gurgaon at a cost of around Rs 12,000. Nearly 2,000 copies were printed, with 1,200 meant for the Singhu border and 800 for Tikri.
Social media and WhatsApp were used to spread the word and garner content for the bi-weekly newsletter, the proposal for the newsletter received a positive response which led to the first edition of Trolly Times.
As per The Print, Gurdeep Dhaliwal, a documentary photographer and writer who is part of the newsletter team said, “We got some 300-400 emails and even more content on WhatsApp. We reviewed a lot of poetry, songs and short stories on how people are involved in this movement.” He adds, “The final page even has an illustration from a Kolkata-based designer.”
The first edition of Trolley Times was printed on Thursday morning and reached Singhu and Tikri borders late in the night. It was distributed among protesting farmers Friday morning.
While the team couldn’t get input from the Ghazipur border protest site, they said their aim for the next edition is to include everyone.