The around eight layers barricading of concrete blocks sandwiched with reinforced cement, of metal barricades knit together and welded to the railings of a national highway that was dedicated to the nation not too long ago, will take a long time to undo. Literally and figuratively. The thick barricading is topped with Concertina wire, which is laid out like an accordion of sharp blades, that can slice deep into flesh, if anyone attempts to even remove it, leave alone pass through. Not even ambulances, or heavy vehicles such as tractors and water tankers can. It is impossible for people to cross these barricades.
Sitting peacefully on the other side are thousands of farmers, among them the very elderly, and relatively younger women men and children. Birds fly overhead, seasons are changing and the days are getting warmer, even though the evening breeze remains frigid. The metal spikes now embedded on the roads and service lanes, now endanger those walking through to the protest sites, from the Delhi side. Worst of all, it is keeping away hundreds of urban poor, especially the children for whom the langars at the protests were a place where they were treated with respect and served hot nutritious food all day.
Some would stay on and listen to the speeches and collect extra water bottles, warm clothing that was being shared. Many more collected the scraps of plastic waste, for sale later. Perhaps, like the farmers who are still coming into Ghazipur, they too will find other ways to reach the place that has given them more than the city ever has.