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Invite farmers’ leaders for talks, eminent citizens tell government

Farmers protest the new farm laws at Singhu border. File   | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

As the stand-off between the agitating farmers and the BJP-led government at the Centre continues over the three farm laws, some eminent citizens have written to the Union government to invite the farmers’ leaders for a dialogue to end the stalemate.

The long-drawn peaceful movement against the laws, enacted at the time of COVID-19, is the manifestation of the persistent and deep-rooted agrarian crisis and farmers’ distress. In the understanding of the farmers, and rightly so, the implementation of these three laws would not only accentuate their crisis but would also pose a serious threat to their livelihood, they said in a joint appeal to the Union government.

They said the adamant attitude of the Union government is causing unprecedented psychological and physical sufferings to lakhs of agitating farmers consisting of women, children, old people and youth, who have been camping in the open on the outskirts of Delhi for the last more than 140 days and are facing numerous problems.

“Families undergoing traumatic situation”

“Their families at home are undergoing a traumatic situation and are living under an atmosphere of fear, anxiety and uncertainty. Already more than 300 persons have died. Several hundred have suffered injuries and detentions and there does not seem to be an amicable solution insight. Camping in temporary shelters at the Delhi borders in extreme winter and scorching summer is not easy. This reflects the patience and suffering of the farmers, labourers, women and youth. Millions of work-days have been wasted as a result of which agriculture and growth are going to be adversely impacted. The on-going movement needs to be understood in the larger human and social context as the standoff is in no body’s interest,” they said.

Prominent among those who have made the appeal are Som Pal Shastry (ex-Minister of State for Agriculture), T.K.A. Nair (ex-Chief Secretary, Punjab), Dr. Sudarshan Iyengar (former Vice-Chancellor, Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad), Dr. R. Radhakrishna (Chairman and Honorary Professor, Centre for Economics and Social Studies (CESS) N.O. Campus, Begumpet, Hyderabad), Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillon, (Vice-Chancellor, PAU, Ludhiana, Punjab), Ashok Arora, (ex-secretary, Supreme Court Bar Association), Rajinder Singh Cheema (senior advocate), M.S. Mallik (former DGP, Haryana), Dr. D. Narasimha Reddy, Professor of Economics (Rtd — University of Hyderabad), Dr. Ajit Kumar Singh, (former Director Giri Institute of Development Studies, Lucknow), Dr. Neera Chandhoke (Distinguished Fellow Centre of Equity Studies, Delhi), Dr. Sucha Singh Gill (former Director General of CRRID) and Dr. Ranjit Singh Ghuman, Professor of Eminence, GNDU, Amritsar.

They have also asked the leadership of the ‘Sanyukt Kisan Morcha’ to respond positively to the government’s invite as and when it is extended.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 3:54:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/invite-farmers-leaders-for-talks-eminent-citizens-tell-government/article34359558.ece

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