Writer and Padma Shri winner Devanoor Mahadeva has hailed the role of farmers’ leader, the late M.D. Nanjundaswamy, in standing up for the interests of farmers.

He was speaking after inaugurating the Raithotsav to mark the 77th birth anniversary of Nanjundaswamy at Hondarabalu on Wednesday.

Nanjundaswamy was the backbone for farmers. He gave them strength to protect their interests and deal with the government. He had the courage to raise his voice against injustice, stood up for natural agricultural and medicinal practices, and called for a struggle against globalisation, Mr. Mahadeva said.

His influence also extended to other social reforms, such as organising inter-caste marriages and stressed the importance of satyagraha as a method of protest, the writer added.

Plight of farmers

Founder of Narmada Bachao Andolan Medha Patkar saw an “international conspiracy” in how genetically modified seeds were replacing local variants.

She rued that the voices of farmers, Dalits and adivasis were rarely heard by those in power. Globalisation had been accepted without getting their opinion. Farmers were not committing suicide, the government was “killing” them by not offering a suitable price for their produce.

Ms. Patkar hailed the contribution of Nanjundaswamy and called upon farmers to follow his ideal.

Convener of the raitha sangha K.S. Puttanaiah, Nanjundaswamy’s daughter Chukki Nanjundaswamy and Adivasi leader from Kerala S.K. Janu were present.