Answer the following question in brief.
Explain the nature of the farmers' movement in India.
The history of farmers’ movement in India dates to the time of our independence struggle. It was inspired by the thoughts of Mahatma Phule, Justice Ranade and Mahatma Gandhi against the anti-agriculturist policies of the British. It has continued to be active and became more effective after the Green Revolution which increased the economic gap between rich farmers and poor farmers. Some of the demands of the farmers’ movements are:
• Appropriate prices for agricultural goods
• Industry status for Agriculture
• Implementations of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission report
• Debt relief and debt cancellation
• National policy for Agriculture
- The farmers’ movement started in India when the farmers organized themselves against the anti-agricultural policies of the British colonial government. For e.g. Farmer’s movements in Bardoli, Champaranya, etc. These movements were inspired by the thoughts of Mahatma Phule, Justice Ranade, and Mahatma Gandhi.
- The reforms in agriculture including the tenancy laws and laws relating to tilling of the land slowed down the farmers’ movement. Later, the Green Revolution, which was aimed at increasing agricultural production and achieving self-sufficiency in food grains, did not benefit poor farmers. Thus, It created a divide between the rich and poor farmers.
- This dissatisfaction among the poor farmers led to the beginning of the farmers’ movement which then became more active and effective.
- Some of the demands of the farmers’ movements included appropriate pricing of agricultural products, giving the status of industry to agriculture, accepting the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission, debt relief, debt cancellation, implementation of national policy for agriculture, etc.
- Some of the important farmers’ organizations in India include Shetkari Sanghatana, Bharatiya Kisan Union, and All India Kisan Sabha.