New Delhi: As thousands of farmers continue to camp at the Delhi-Haryana border in protest against the new farm laws, parallels are being drawn to the October 1988 Boat Club agitation in the capital city. Nearly five lakh farmers had occupied the Boat Club and its lawns, near the North and South Blocks, with a litany of demands before the Rajiv Gandhi government.
The movement, lead by Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Mahendra Singh Tikait, was initially planned to last for one day but went on for nearly a week. The protest had halted VIP movement in the area, days before the Parliament’s winter session was about to start.
This agitation catapulted Tikait into the limelight, as he emerged as one of the prominent farmer leaders.
In the months and years after the agitation, Boat Club also became one of the major areas for holding agitations, much before Jantar Mantar became the usual site for protests in Delhi. Prominent leaders, with large following, would only hold rallies in the Boat Club.
ThePrint’s National Photo Editor Praveen Jain brings some rare pictures from his personal archives of protests that took place at the Boat Club in 1988 and thereafter.