e n

Farmers’ cries fall on deaf ears

Farmer suicides are on the rise in Punjab. In Bhatinda district alone, at least 100 farmers have committed suicide due to a failed crop

punjab-farmerFarmer suicides are on the rise in Punjab. In Bhatinda district alone, at least 100 farmers have committed suicide due to a failed crop. As many as eight farmers’ and labour organizations have been staging a sit-in in front of the mini secretariat since September 17. On the first day of the protest, around 50,000 farmers took part in a demonstration. During the demonstration, a labourer from Muktsar district died of a heart attack.

A large number of farmers of three districts of Punjab’s Malwa region – Bhatinda, Mansa and Faridkot – had sown “narma”. But the crops were destroyed by a pest called “safed macchar”. The organizations of farmers say that poor-quality seeds and insecticides supplied by the Punjab government led to the situation. Now, the government has announced a compensation package of Rs 10 crore, which is grossly inadequate. The farmers are demanding Rs 40,000 per acre in addition to Rs 20,000 each for the families of the agricultural labourers who have also been suffering because of the failed crop. But the government is simply ignoring the demand. Though Bhatinda is the home district of the Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal, he has not even bothered to issue a statement sympathizing with the farmers or promising them aid.

Kisan Union leader Singar Singh Maan said, “After a crop failure, if the troubled farmer dies of a heart attack, it should be treated as suicide.” Bhatinda District Collector Dr Basant Garg insisted that not a single farmer had committed suicide. He said that only one labourer had died and that too during the demonstration and that his next of kin had been given a cheque of Rs 5 lakh as compensation.

About The Author

Azad Ansari

Related Articles

Why RSS is scapegoating Modi for failing to win a majority
The 2024 General Elections were important for Modi. But these elections were even more important for the RSS. It wanted to win the elections...
The intellectual bankruptcy of an upper-caste academia
The reason India has failed to produce quality research and transformative theories is that the upper-caste intellectuals tend to crush any idea that could...
General Elections 2024: Making sense of the Uttar Pradesh surprise
Under the circumstances and given the limited resources at their disposal, the SP and the Congress could have hardly done anything more. But the...
An egalitarian Constitution wins, a divisive vice-like grip eases
Looking at the BJP’s election campaign, it was as if the party had already fulfilled its core agenda – that its mission was all...
In India, a counterproductive discourse of nationalism
The founding principles of the Hindu religion are against the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity. The kind of nationalism it speaks for is...