Days after PM Modi declared the new benefits that farmers will get in the time to come, something ironic happened in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur. Allegedly, the police have open fired at a group of farmers killing 5 and injuring another 2 of them. The farmers were protesting to waive off their loans after a group of farmers in Maharashtra had begun a similar protest against the government.
What comes as a surprise is the fact that before the current BJP government came to power in Madhya Pradesh, it pitched itself as a government for the farmers. They promised that under them, farmers would breathe a new life and their loans would be waived off along with bringing the minimum support price (MSP) down. Madhya Pradesh was supposed to be a success story for farmers, but looking at the recent events that have unfolded in Mandsaur, the reality seems far from it. What went wrong?
(Image Courtesy: India Today)
What Is The Government Saying?
In shocking developments, the government and MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has blamed “anti-social” elements for the firing that took place in Mandsaur that killed at least 5 people. The home ministry has denied any involvement of the local police in the firings. Moreover, the state government has blamed the opposition and the Congress party in particular of instigating violence from behind the scene. Adding to their cause, the government has highlighted all the good work done by them for the farming community citing the five Krishi Kalyan Awards that the government has won.
(Image Courtesy: Hindustan Times)
The government has announced a compensation of 1 crore and a government job to the next of kin of the 5 deceased farmers. However, what is interesting about this is the fact that the initial compensation was declared to be of 5 lakhs which was later increased to 10 lakhs and finally to a crore. This exponential growth in the allowance price points towards the fact that this decision by the government is entirely driven under pressure from the agitated farming community. Another interesting point to make is that this huge compensation by the state government comes for people who they deemed as anti-socials initially.
Is The Situation As Mellow As The Government Claims?
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has tom-tommed about the success of the MP government in the farming sector. However, he can’t run away from certain facts. Madhya Pradesh averages about 3 farmers deaths every day, one of the highest rates in the country. Moreover, more than 10% of the farmers' suicides in the last 16 years in MP has taken place in just a year.
(Image Courtesy: The Huffington Post)
The government might be making certain amendments for the complacency that it earlier bestowed upon the farmers in MP which forced them to sell their crops at astounding losses. But, one thing that has to be checked is the fact that the entire farming community in India seems to be agitated. First, the farmers in Tamil Nadu, then Maharashtra and now in Madhya Pradesh. Agriculture and farmers were the priority of this government when it came to power, and there surely has been some development. However, there still is a lot of ground to cover for the BJP government.
(Featured Image Courtesy: The Dialogue)