By Abhijit Pal
In March 2018, fifty thousand farmers – a huge sea of red and white – marched for seven days and six nights, covering 180 kilometers from Nashik to Mumbai to demand better living conditions. The Forest Rights Act of 2006 had not been implemented in 2018 and many farmers had been allocated forestland for subsistence farming, but no proper land titles had been given to them. Many incidents took place on the way: school students were writing board exams, urban residents distributed biscuits to the farmers and who can forget images of the blisters on the soles of the feet of the marchers. Two years after the march, what do the people who experienced it first hand, those who walked the walk, reminisce about the incidents?
In recent times – with the climate strikes and protests in Hong Kong, etc – walking, marching and protesting has gained increased significance. For many who could not participate but would have liked to have shown their support, Abhijit has created a retrospective opportunity. By walking alongside this miniature model of the 180 kilometer route traversed by the farmers, viewers can participate in the journey in retrospect and receive a darshan
(experience/observe) of many incidents that transpired in 2018. Through this model, viewers can also read snippets of the testimonies collected by Abhijit that were not broadcast by mainstream media.