When farmers from across India came to Delhi last month for the Kisan Mukti March, one contingent from Punjab walked from Majnu ka Tila in the north of the city to Ramlila Maidan in central Delhi on November 29. The next day, they marched towards Parliament Street. Among them was Jagjit Singh (second from left in the cover photo on top) from Barnala district. “They [the Modi government] are running away from promises made to us,” he said. “All our farmer brothers are helpless. This has forced us to come out on the roads and protest. We are ready to do anything if our promises are not fulfilled, even after this [march].” 

Then he sang this song:

0:00-0:03
BA karke 
ho gaya hun vela main 
Having completed a BA, I now have time to kill

0:03-0:05
Kardae jee kise sadh da
I now feel like being a companion

0:05-0:07
Ban ja hun chela main
To a holy man 

0:07-0:11
Mainthon nhi hunda kam kaar, haaye!
Alas! I am unable to do any kind of work! 

0:11-0:15
Fayda ki hoya aithe degreeyan laen da?
Did earning a degree do any good?

0:15-0:18
Rehna je berozgaar
If you’re still unemployed?

0:19-0:20
Bapu karjai hoya  
My father is now in heavy debt

0:20-0:21
Bhar bhar feesan
Paying and paying [my] fees 

0:22-0:25
Kam naiyo aaiyan, buddhi ma diyan assesan
My old mother’s blessings were of no use   

0:25-0:26
Main taan hun soch leya ae 
I now believe

0:27-0:28
Kismat hi khoti ae!
Bad luck is our fate 

0:29-0:33
Saadi tan hath ne ohi, rukhi jehi roti ae  
In our hands is the same old dry roti 

0:34-0:37
Khasmanu khaave sarkar oye 
To hell with this government!

0:38-0:41
Fayda ki hoya aithe degreeyan laen da ?
Did earning a degree do any good? 

0:41-0:44
Rehna je berozgaar
If you’re still unemployed?

0:44-0:48
Chad de hun Juggika nu, Chad de hun Jeetka nu
Leave it Juggi, let it be Jeet   

0:48-0:50
Karda tu choraan oye  
Why hope anyway [for change]? 

0:50-0:52
Jindri ae chaar dinaa di
Life is short

0:52-0:54
Has le tu bhora oye
Just laugh a little 

0:54-0:58
Fikraan vich devin na gujaar, hayee!
Don’t waste it in worrying!

0:59-1:02
Fayda ki hoya aithe degreeyan laen da ?
Did earning a degree do any good? 

1:02-1:06
Rehna je berozgaar
If you’re still unemployed?

Translation by Guneet Kaur Bedi, with inputs from Mansha Chhatwal.

Binaifer Bharucha

Binaifer Bharucha is a freelance photographer based in Mumbai, and the Photo Editor at PARI.

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