Farmers agitations are picking momentum as the generalelection is very close and all opposition parties join hands to support the farmers on their long march and protest to open the eyes of the administrators. Of course, political motives are there, but one can understand that most of the demands put forth by the farmers are genuine. In 2015 the agitation was in Punjab, in 2017 in Madhya Pradesh and 2018 it is in Maharashtra,Gujarat and Rajasthan. Don’t think the farmers of other states are happy and content either. They are also facing many adverse issues and the joint action may start at any time.
In fact, 2018-19 Budget envisaged minimum support price for Kharif crops as 1.5 times the cost of production as stated by Arun jaitely, Union finance minister. Dr.M.S.Swaminathan also expressed hope on improving the farmers life through the budget provisions.
Then, why do the farmers agitate asking for basic support for a better life and to save their brothers from suicide is a question to be answered by the rulers. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has alleged that farmers’ agitation being witnessed in the state were a “political stunt”of the opposition and urged cultivators not to get misled. Do the rulers feel farmers can be mislead easily? Our hard working farmers tilling from dawn to dusk have no time to spend on unnecessary things. If they assemble for a common cause, then nobody can question its genuity.
The government should listen to the voice of the farmers and do whatever possible. Is the budget allocation properly utilized and are the farmers benefitted, should be analysed. A close social audit is essential to address the issues. The farmers major demand is loan waiver,higher prices for their produce and immediate implementation of the SwaminathanCommission report on farming. All demands are genuine and need solution. When Government and banks write off thousands of crores of rupees that corporates purposely defaulted and many fraudulent activities were not properly addressed, why should theadministrators show a hardened mind and heart towards farmers they are the backbone of the society.
“Before coming to power, the BJP had promised to give 50 per cent over and above the minimum support price,but after coming to power, the party forgot the promise," Yashwanth Sinha, former Finance Minister said.“Just as Indian soldiers carried out surgical strikes across border, the farmers will also carry out a surgical strike against the government till justice has been done,” Mr Sinha said. In Maharashtra, the Parishad has sought purchase of all farm produce by the government at the Minimum Support Price, Rs. 50,000 per acre compensation for cotton farmers affected by pink boll- worm disease, besides resolution of issues related to farm insurance and relief to drought-affected villages.
In Madhya Pradesh, instead of solving the issues raised by the farmers, the administrators termed them anti-social elements and asked the police to fire the innocent citizens and the democracy was put to stand still. “The police firing on farmers agitating for getting right price for their produce and waiver of loans, which resulted in the death of five of them is a blot on the government in the state,” JyothiradityaScindia said.” Instead of supporting the farmers, the Government hikes the rates of power and diesel, which naturally increases the cost of cultivation”, he added.
The issues related to farm sector are umpteen and never ending. As a media always be with the farmers and supports all good initiative in the farm sector, both public and private, we suggest immediate implementation of Swaminathan commission report in toto and show the mettle of sincerity of the Union Government towards the farmers.