As the farmers continue their sit-in protest against the 3 farm laws in several border areas on the fourth week amid the chilling winters, the nation will in all its ironical glory celebrate Kissan Diwas.
Kissan Diwas, also known as National Farmer’s Day is the annual celebration of the Indian farmers and Indian farming community which is observed on the 23rd of December every year.
Farmer’s Day History And Significance
Every year, the country celebrates Farmer’s Day on December 23, in account of the birth anniversary of the fifth and only Kissan Prime Minister of India, Choudhary Charan Singh.
Charan Singh was one of the biggest pioneers to focus on Indian villages as a whole and paved the way for land reform laws that were later created for the betterment of farmers and people who are on the grass-root level.
The Life and times of Choudhary Charan Singh who was also known as the “Champion of Indian Peasants.”
Choudhary Charan Singh was born in a peasant family in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh in the year 1902. Born in the humble family of farmers himself he was able to witness the plight of the farmer’s community around him. A reformer at his core, Choudhary was a farmer’s champion in thought and inactions.
Charan Singh took to many positions in public office; twice as the CM of Uttar Pradesh, Union Home Minister, Finance Minister, Deputy Prime Minsiter and then went on to become the Prime Minister of the country, but never did he forgot to leave the side of his brothers and sisters in the farmer’s community.
Knowing fully well the conditions of the farmer’s community Charan Singh started his battle against landlords very early on in his life in the year 1939. In 1939, he drafted the Debt Redemption Bill that aimed to give relief to the peasants from moneylenders.
He didn’t stop there and from June 1939, he published an article in a newspaper discussing the land reform bill’s blueprint he was planning to pursue after Independence.
Post-independence, as an Agriculture Minister, he was the pioneer figure in leading Uttar Pradesh in abolishing the zamindari system. He himself drafted UP Zamindari bill with the aim to strike a moral blow at the elite landlord class of that time. The bill was a huge relief to hundreds and thousands of farmers that were till then obliged to pay revenues to landowners irrespective of the yield of the crop they got.
In 2020, when farmers across India are fighting hard and strong against the authority’s new farm bill that is foreshadowing a potential privatization of the agriculture sector, National Farmer’s Day and Chaudhary Charan Singh’s effort for the farmer’s community should be a stark reminder of the efforts that have been made towards the feeders of our country.