Lauding ‘Atmanirbhar (self reliant) farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that India registered record agricultural produce during times of coronavirus. He further said that the crop growers are the backbone of our country’s democracy.
“Farmers have been behind the progress of the country. They also played important role in the Chauri Chaura struggle. In the last six years, steps have been taken to make farmers self-reliant. As a result of this, agriculture sector has grown even during the pandemic,” PM Modi said.
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Highlighting government’s measures for farmers’ growth, the prime minister said, “We have taken several steps in the interest of farmers. To make mandis profitable for farmers, 1,000 more mandis will be linked to e-NAM.”
The Chauri Chaura incident took place on February 4, 1922 at Chauri Chaura in Gorakhpur district when a large group of protesters participating in the Non-cooperation movement, clashed with police who opened fire. The demonstrators attacked and set fire to a police station, killing all of its occupants. The incident led to the death of three civilians and 22 policemen.
The UP government has planned a year of celebrations in all 75 districts of the state in the memory of the martyrs.
PM Modi’s statement comes as thousands of farmers have been protesting at the Delhi borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, demanding a rollback of the three laws — Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act. The protesting farmers have expressed the apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporations.
However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring better opportunities to farmers and introduce new technologies in agriculture. Eleven rounds of formal talks between the government and the protesting farmer unions failed to break the deadlock. While unions have stuck to their main demand of repeal of the laws and legal guarantee of MSP, the government has offered some concessions including keeping these laws on hold for 1-1.5 years. Even the Supreme Court has stayed the laws for two months and set up a panel to look into the matter.