Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

Vijender to return Khel Ratna if farms laws not withdrawn

Olympic medallist boxer Vijender Singh, who joined the farmers’ agitation at the Haryana-Delhi border on Sunday, said he will return his Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award if the Centre’s new farm laws are not withdrawn.

Addressing a gathering of protestors, Singh said, “I came here today as our big brother Punjab is here, so how can people of Haryana lag behind. If the government doesn’t withdraw the black laws, I will return my Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award–the highest sporting honour of the nation.”

“The farmers’ unity was always there before it will also remain in the future,” he added.

Amid the ongoing farmers’ protest, former national boxing coach Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu decided to return his Dronacharya Award to show solidarity with agitating farmers.

Farmers are protesting against The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Last week, former Punjab Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patriarch Parkash Singh Badal returned the Padma Vibhushan award in protest against the ‘betrayal of the farmers by the Government of India’.

Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic) Chief and rebel Rajya Sabha member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa also returned the Padma Bhushan award to “express solidarity” with protesting farmers.

The same day, the winners of the Bhartiya Sahitya Akademi Award in Punjabi including Sirmour Shire Dr Mohanjit, eminent thinker Dr Jaswinder Singh and Punjabi playwright and editor of Punjabi Tribune Swarajbir also returned their awards to show support for farmers.