The Spirit of Langar: Haryana Dhabas Open Their Kitchens to Protesting Farmers

Social Commentary

The Spirit of Langar: Haryana Dhabas Open Their Kitchens to Protesting Farmers

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

Against the backdrop of the massive farmers’ protest currently taking place on the outskirts of Delhi, the simple act of feeding hungry farmers becomes a gesture of kindness and humanity. As thousands of farmers from Punjab and Haryana marched to the national capital as part of the “Chalo Dilli” march against the central government’s unpopular farming laws, dhabas, charity organisations, and gurudwaras in the region opened their doors and their kitchens to both the protestors and the security forces currently embroiled in the agitation. Videos and photographs of the large-scale langars being organised in Haryana and Delhi are being shared across the internet as examples of how even in times of strife, compassion persists.

It all began with a video clip from the famous Amrik Sukhdev Dhaba in Haryana’s Murthal, also known as Murthal Dhaba to locals. The video showed dozens of farmers seated at the dhaba, enjoying the free food served up in the spirit of sewa that the Sikh community upholds. Speaking to Indian Express, a spokesperson for the dhaba said that they were only focused on feeding as many people as they could without keeping count. “When doing sewa we don’t count the number of plates being served as it’s unnecessary. It’s about serving God through feeding people and ultimately about humanity,” he said.

As well as the Amrik Sukhdev Dhaba, international volunteer organisation Khalsa Aid has also been involved in setting up langar stalls along the highways the farmers are marching on. Volunteers from Khalsa Aid have been serving fresh meals to both the policemen and farmers who are currently spending their days camped outdoors in the dipping winter temperatures.

In Delhi, the Majnu ka Tila gurdwara is one of the many places of worship in the city that has opened its doors to the farmers. The gurdwara’s authorities have declared they will continue to provide langar for the farmers for as long as they are camped in the city and their demands are met.

Talks between the farmers’ representatives and the central government are expected to be held on December 3.