Gurpreet Singh: Teeja Punjab is a must-watch film to understand India’s yearlong farmers’ protest

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      Currently showing at Cineplex theatres in Surrey, Coquitlam, and Richmond, the Punjabi-language film Teeja Punjab is based on problems that the peasantry is facing in India.  

      Directed by Amberdeep Singh, it was released on December 3, close to the first anniversary of the farmers’ protest in India. The film, which has subtitles in English, can help in comprehending the background and the context of the protest, as this issue has not died.    

      The story revolves around a marginal farmer named Bhagat who faces eviction from his land due to the manipulation of politically well-connected people with the backing of the police and the administration. This turns him into an accidental activist who gets involved in the farmers’ uprising.  

      There are many noticeable similarities between the ongoing farmers’ protest in India and the one depicted in the film. The script highlights the participation of seniors and women, along with the tactics applied by the Indian establishment to weaken the campaign that have been widely reported in the media.    

      Thousands of farmers have been camping outside New Delhi since November 26, 2020, to oppose unjust farm laws that threatened their livelihood. Buckling under pressure, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi eventually announced that his government was going to repeal these laws after more than 700 farmers had laid down their lives during the struggle.  

      The impact of the movement was also felt in Canada. Not very far from the Strawberry Hill theatre, where Teeja Punjab is running, students of Indian origin have gathered almost every night throughout the year to show their solidarity with farmers on the corner of Scot Road and 72 Avenue.

      Even the Canadian mainstream media and politicians have taken notice of the agitation.

      Watch the Punjabi-language trailer for Teeja Punjab.