Death of a farmer: Vital for both sides to find a middle ground - The Tribune India

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Death of a farmer

Vital for both sides to find a middle ground

Death of a farmer

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THE irony was not lost on anyone. Around one lakh people, mostly dairy farmers and cattle rearers, gathered at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday for the golden jubilee celebration of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, even as thousands of protesting farmers camped at Khanauri and Shambhu on the Punjab-Haryana border during a pause in their ‘Dilli Chalo’ march. In a tragic turn of events, a young farmer, Shubhkaran Singh, died in a clash between security personnel and protesters at Khanauri on Wednesday. His death is a wake-up call for the farmer leaders and the Union Government to intensify efforts to break the deadlock over legal guarantee for procurement at the minimum support price (MSP).

Amul’s success story demonstrated the benefits of taking every farmer along. The PM rightly said that a sapling planted 50 years ago by the farmers of Gujarat had become a giant tree with branches all over the world. A similar outreach is required to win over aggrieved farmers who have been braving tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons. There has been no breakthrough despite four rounds of talks between farmer leaders and Union ministers. The battlelines hardened after farmers’ representatives rejected the Centre’s proposal to purchase pulses (tur, urad and masoor), maize and cotton crops at the MSP for a five-year period.

It is back to the drawing board for the government, which has invited farmers for the fifth round of talks to discuss the MSP demand, crop diversification and other issues. Both the authorities and the protesters must exercise restraint so as to create an atmosphere conducive to holding a constructive dialogue. It is imperative to find a middle ground at the earliest opportunity for the sake of peace as well as normalcy. With the future of farmers and farming at stake, let Shubhkaran’s death not go in vain.

#Ahmedabad #Gujarat #Narendra Modi


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