Farmers’ protest: Punjabi singer-actor Harbhajan Mann refuses to accept state govt’s award

Expressing solidarity with farmers protesting against the new central farm laws, popular Punjabi singer-actor Harbhajan Mann on Friday announced that he will not accept Punjab government’s ‘Shiromani Punjabi’ Award.

The Punjab Languages Department had on Thursday chosen Mann for the award. The department had announced Sahitya Ratna and Shiromani awards for 18 different categories of literature and art.

“Though I’m grateful to be selected, I humbly cannot accept the Shiromani Gayak award from the Department of Language. People’s love is the biggest award of my career, & all attention & efforts right now from us all must be dedicated to the peaceful farmers’ protest (sic),” Harbhajan Mann said on Twitter.

Mann, along with many Punjabi singers and artists, has been in support of the farmers’ agitation for the last several months. The singer-actor had also attended the farmers protest at the Delhi borders.

“You had to be there to experience their energy, fervour & optimism. Amidst adversity, they smile & share moments of happiness. Proud of the peaceful & resilient protesters from far & wide,” Mann said in another tweet.

According to news agency PTI, Mann had come out with a new song ‘Murrde ni laye bina haq, Dilliye” (Delhi, we aren’t turning back without getting our rights) on Wednesday. The video of the song shows how farmers braved water cannons and broke police barriers en route to Delhi border points.

About a month back, Mann had released another song “Anndataa, Khet Saadi Maa, Khet Saadi pagg” (fields are our mother, fields are our pride).

Several Punjabi singers and actors, including Kanwar Grewal, Sidhu Moosewala, Babbu Maan and Harf Cheema, have lent their support to the farmers’ cause.

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and other areas have stayed put at various Delhi border points, protesting against the new farm laws, which they fear will dismantle the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporates.

(With PTI inputs)

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