Gurpreet Singh: Hands Against Racism campaign team sends a message of solidarity with Indian farmers
A collage of green handprints added a new dimension to an antiracism initiative launched by Burnaby-based Spice Radio this week.
The broadcasters and other team members at the station came together to raise their voices for Indian farmers in a unique way.
They not only left their handprints in green on a white sheet, but also scribbled their greetings to show respect to the farmers agitating against controversial laws passed by the right-wing and pro-corporate government in India.
The farmers have been camping near New Delhi for the past 100 days now, asking for a rolling back of ordinances that threaten their livelihood.
As part of their annual Hands Against Racism campaign, the team members dipped their hands in green colour and left a palm print on a white sheet laid outside the studio.
Among them was Vishaljeet Kaur, who recently sang "Kissan Di Vaar" (a heroic ode to a farmer). Kaur is a well-known Punjabi singer whose recent song video focusing on the farmers’ struggle has received a lot of attention.
“I support farmers,” she wrote right beneath her handprint.
While Kaur works on the administrative side of the radio station, those doing on-air news and entertainment programs were in the forefront of making a decision to show solidarity with farmers.
The morning talk-show host, Mankiran Aujla, wrote: "Power to the farmers!"
Likewise, seasoned broadcaster Noni Kaur wrote in Punjabi, "We are indebted to the farmers." Gaurav Shah, who has a popular musical show on Spice Radio wrote, “God Bless Farmers“ alongside a greeting in Punjabi implying that the world survives only because of farmers.
Hands Against Racism has entered its seventh year. Spice Radio CEO Shushma Datt started it in 2015 on the birth anniversary of towering civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. It coincides with Holi, a Hindu festival of colours, and the campaign encourages participants to dip their hands in colours and leave a handprint alongside a message against bigotry.
Datt has provided a platform on her station to different groups and speakers advocating for the rights of the agitating farmers.