Nyay for farmers: How Congress’ 14 points will make Jai Jawan Jai Kisan dream a reality

In the 1990s, agriculture contributed 35% to our total GDP, but today it stands at 17%

By Irfan Aziz  Published on  15 May 2024 4:13 AM GMT
Nyay for farmers: How Congress’ 14 points will make Jai Jawan Jai Kisan dream a reality

Hyderabad: The history of agriculture in India dates back to the Neolithic period, and an important factor is that India ranks second worldwide in farm outputs. We are currently transitioning from an agriculturally based economy to an industrial and services-based economy. This shift began in the 1990s during Dr. Manmohan Singh’s tenure as the finance minister. His policy of liberalizing India’s economy triggered rapid development and progress. Over the past 30 years, India has leaped into the top five economies globally. We now participate in all major global events, and the world cannot ignore us anymore. Dr. Manmohan Singh’s vision of India emerging as a major economic power was realized by opening up our economy to the world.

In the 1990s, agriculture contributed 35% to our total GDP, but today it stands at 17%. Despite this decline, agriculture remains a key sector of the Indian economy due to its impact on employment and GDP. It provides livelihoods to a large section of the population. India leads the world in net cropped area, followed by the United States and China. Although the economic contribution of agriculture to India’s GDP is decreasing due to broad-based economic growth, it still plays a significant role in our socio-economic fabric. According to the 2011 Census, approximately 55% of the total workforce (481.7 million workers) is employed in agriculture and allied sectors, including animal husbandry, forestry, and fisheries.

Farmers are our lifeline, and India’s economic health is closely tied to agricultural output. Droughts directly impact agricultural production, leading to price rises and inflation. Changes in monsoon patterns also affect our economy significantly. Therefore, every government must prioritize the agricultural ecosystem to prevent a collapse that could have cascading effects on India’s economy. The slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” coined by Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1965 remains relevant today. We cannot truly enjoy our freedom without taking care of our soldiers and farmers who work tirelessly to provide food and safeguard our borders.

The Indian National Congress (INC) has consistently supported both Jawans (soldiers) and Kisans (farmers) since independence. During the recent farmer protests against the three black laws unconstitutionally passed by the BJP government, the INC stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the farmers. Despite the BJP government’s reluctance to repeal these laws or acknowledge the deaths of hardworking farmers during the protests, the INC continued to fight for their rights. Eventually, the draconian laws were rolled back by the BJP Government.

Today The BJP/NDA government’s response has been callous and brutal. Farmers do not get fair and remunerative prices for their produce; nor do the producers have adequate avenues to market their produce. Export controls have debilitated farmers. The plight of farm laborers is worse; the work available is irregular and the wages have stagnated for nearly four years. Congress is the only party that has lent its ear to the distress call of the farmers and farm labor and we are determined to do everything possible to alleviate their pain and make agriculture a desirable livelihood.

Congress Nyay for Farmers covers 14 important points that will safeguard farmers' distress and the problems they face from loan waiver to minimum support price. Some of our promises that I want to highlight, Congress will give a legal guarantee to the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission. A nominal premium will be charged from the farmer according to the sum insured and all claims will be settled within 30 days one more promise will formulate and implement a sound import-export policy for agricultural commodities, which will give paramount importance to protecting the interests and concerns of farmers. In summary, the Congress manifesto focuses on many more areas where would be supporting our farmers in every aspect.


The writer is Irfan Aziz, All India Professional Congress, president of Secunderabad Chapter& Congress Manifesto Head from Telangana.

The views and opinions expressed in the article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of NewsMeter.

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