Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Police firing on MP farmers is unwarranted

The way police fired on the protesting farmers in Mandsaur of Madhya Pradesh clearly reflects the mishandling of the situation by the district civil and police administration. Five farmers have reportedly been killed and several others injured in the police firing. Madhya Pradesh is a BJP-ruled state. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan must take deterrent action against the police or civil officials found wanting in their duties. Farmers in our country are the most neglected lots. Despite the fact that agriculture contributes 17 percent to our economy and more than three-fourth of the population depends on it for livelihood, it is the most neglected sector in the country. The country where govt. miserably fails to prevent an industrialist from fleeing away with a bank loan of Rs. 9000 Crore to Britain, who is watching the matches of Champions Trophy without any fear of the law , on hand and the police fire on protesting farmers to waive loans and increase the price of farm produce and Maximum Support Price on the other. The poor farmers, who provide food to the 1.25 billion Indians, find themselves difficult to manage their two ends meet. There appears no pressure on the absconding industrialist to pay the bank debt. Bank also discriminates against farmers while granting the loan to them. It applies all conditions to be fulfilled by the farmers before sanctioning the small loan while in the case of the big industrialist, they relax conditions willfully. Besides Banks, farmers are under pressure to pay back loans taken from money lenders in the villages at higher interest rates. And due to the vagaries of nature, their crops are destroyed. Drought and floods also hit the farmers hard every year alternately. The government never manages anything to cope with the problems being faced by the farmers. They fill our stomach. They are the life givers. The govt. must make arrangement for farmers to fall back on other occupation temporarily whenever their crops are destroyed by floods or drought. One farmer commits suicide every half an hour in the country, which is enough to tell its plight. What crime the farmers had committed that MP police fired on them indiscriminately. Their only crime was that they were demanding loan waiver, Maximum Support Price of their produce. Farmers are innocent, helpless and poor. They are working in their field in adverse condition and abject poverty. Even then, they don’t get the genuine price of their produce. The demonetization move of the govt. has made the condition of farmers far worse. It is not only Madhya Pradesh or the BJP govt., the condition of farmers in the entire country has been more or less the same under the successive govt. in the state and at the Centre. No govt. has ever thought seriously about the problems being faced by the farmers in the country. The police firing on the unarmed farmers is atrocious and the Madhya Pradesh govt. must make a thorough investigation to know who is responsible for this. The farmers in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have been fighting for their demands and both the governments are not taking the matter seriously. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had also increased the compensation for the kith and kin of deceased, who were killed during a protest from Rs. five lakh to 10 lakh. The farmers are demanding remunerative prices for their produce and a loan waiver. They are also demanding that they should be given Rs 50 per litre of milk bought from them as they spend Rs 37 per litre. MP CM says that his government is with the farmers. But he must know that by merely saying that his govt. is with farmers, he cannot be absolved of responsibility. It is the duty of the govt. and district administration to look into the demands of farmers sympathetically and stop acting against them.

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