A newsletter called Karti Dharti — written by women and about women — will be published and distributed on Friday at least in two protest sites here. The newsletter is the brainchild an IT analyst and freelance writer.
The first page of the first newsletter also has an article on Nodeep Kaur, a Dalit woman — who was supporting the agitation and was arrested on January 12 by Haryana Police.
Chandigarh-based Sangeet Toor was invited for a talk about a month ago on women’s participation in the ongoing protest against the farm laws. “A speaker there asked me if there was any newsletter or paper being published on this subject. That’s when we thought why not?”
However, what set things moving was “media clampdown”. Ms. Toor said recently, media is not even being allowed to freely report on the farmer’s protest. “Government crackdown on media freedom led us to think that we really really need to push it out,” she said.
On the content, the team is Ms. Toor, three students from the University of Delhi, a Pakistan-native professor based in New York, and a few other women. The designing of the newsletter is by Chandigarh based costume designer Navjeet Kaur, and the funding and production of the letter is by Ms. Toor’s sister, Sargam Toor.
“The newsletter, in the beginning, will solely concentrate on the participation of women in the protest. The first edition is basically about the experience of women after January 26 tractor parade. Coming issues will have other stories as well but not this one because there is hardly anything that is written about women in the protest, what is going in their mind and what they are facing,” she said.
The newsletter will be published in two scripts — Gurumukhi and Shahmukhi — , which means Punjabi and Punjabi in Persian script respectively.
“Shahmukhi because it is mostly used in West Punjab and Punjabi has been written in Shahmukhi for centuries there. Baba Farid, Shah Hussain wrote Punjabi in Shahmukhi,” she said. This newsletter was also to be published in Hindu, however, the woman working on the version had to dissociate herself for personal reasons.
For Saturday, 2,500 copies are being printed to be distributed at Singhu border and Tikri border. Ms. Toor said that she will further travel to Punjab and distribute the newsletter there.
In is the second such initiative after Trolley Times, another four-page newsletter published in Punjabi and Hindi to “clarify real news amid fake news and represent people’s voices”.