Thursday, June 8, 2017

Resolve farmers' issues urgently

There seems to be an agrarian unrest in the country. Six farmers have reportedly been killed in police firing in Mandsaur of Madhya Pradesh. Agitating farmers were demanding loan waiver, the increase in the price of their farm produce and the Minimum Support Price (MSP). The agitation reportedly turned violent due to the mishandling of the situation by the district civil and police administration. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan blamed the anti-social elements for violence in Mandsaur. He alleged that the opposition Congress Party was instigating the farmers for agitation. He sees a political conspiracy by the opposition Congress party in Mandsaur farmers’ unrest. First of all, Shivraj Singh Govt. in MP appeared to be confused whether the farmers were killed in police firing or not. Initially, Union Home Ministry denied that there was a police firing. While MP Home Minister had already said that Farmers were killed in police firing. It appears that there has been no coordination between the Union Home Ministry and the State Home department. Both were giving their own version. Congress is the opposition party in Madhya Pradesh. It is its political duty and responsibility to raise the concerns of the farmers before the government in a peaceful way. The lawlessness that prevailed in Mandsaur definitely resulted in police firing. The state govt. has failed to maintain law and order. It appeared as if anarchy prevailed in Mandsaur. The news clips displayed by various TV news channels reflected it clearly. It is not only the farmers of Madhya Pradesh but also of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka is agitating at govt.’s apathy towards them. The condition of farmers and farm labourers are getting worse and worse. According to a news report, one farmer commits suicide every half an hour in the country. Farmers had great hope and aspiration from the Narendra Modi govt. But in the first three years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi govt. the condition of the farmers has gone from bad to worse. It appears that Narendra Modi govt.’s priority is not agriculture. Its priority is big corporate and companies. That is why farmers are neglected and their condition is getting worse and worse. If the agriculture had been NDA govt.’s priority, the Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh would not have been busy performing Yoga with the new found friend of Modi govt. and Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev. When the farmers of the country are up in arms, Agriculture Minister has been deputed by the Union govt. to oversee the preparation for the celebration of International Yoga Day. He has been spotted with Baba Ramdev in Motihari of Bihar. It sounds surprising that even after the 48 hours of police firing on farmers in which five were killed; no word was heard from the agriculture minister of the country. It is the moral obligation of agriculture minister to express sympathy for farmers in this tragic hour. Though it is a state subject to deal with the law and order issue, the farmers are directly involved in it. Shivraj Singh govt. has also utterly failed in resolving the farmers’ issue and maintaining law and order. If it says that it is because of Congress instigation that the farmers turned violent, what were its police and civil administration doing? There should be no politics over farmers’ issue. Farmers feed the nation. But they are the most neglected lot. Union and state govt. must sit together to solve all the problems of farmers. Agriculture contributes 17 per cent to our economy. Still, it is the backbone of our economy. The need of the hour is to find out a permanent solution to farmers’ problem, rather make the announcement of loan waiver temporarily. As the situation in Mandsaur is tense and volatile, no politician is allowed to visit there to express sympathy with the kith and kin of the deceased farmers. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi was not allowed to enter Mandsaur and he was first detained, and later arrested there on the border of the district.

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