What is India National Farmers' Day? History, celebration, quotes and messages
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India National Farmers' Day, or Kisan Diwas, is celebrated across the country on December 23 to honor India’s farmers and mark the birth anniversary of the nation’s fifth prime minister, Choudhary Charan Singh.

This year, Kisan Diwas takes place against the backdrop of intensifying farmers’ protests on the borders of the national capital. Lakhs of farmers from across India have joined the movement — now entering its second month — against the BJP-led government’s controversial farm laws.

History of National Farmers’ Day?

In 2001, the government decided to recognize Choudhary Charan Singh’s contribution to the agriculture sector and welfare of farmers by celebrating his birth anniversary as Kisan Diwas.

Since then, December 23 has been observed as National Farmers’ Day. Generally, awareness campaigns and drives are organised across the country to educate people on the role of farmers and their contribution to the economy.

Who was Chaudhary Charan Singh and what was his connection with farmers?

What is India National Farmers' Day? History, celebration, quotes and messages
Photo: IndiaTVNews.com

Chaudhary Charan Singh, who briefly served as prime minister between 1979 and 1980, is widely regarded as one of the country’s most famous peasant leaders. He was known for his pioneering work to promote the welfare of farmers and the agricultural sector.

Charan Singh was no stranger to the struggles faced by the Indian farmer. He was born in to a middle-class peasant family in Uttar Pradesh on December 23, 1902. Greatly influenced by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, he took an active part in the fight for independence. After that, his political career largely focused on socialism in rural India.

Charan Singh served twice as chief minister of India’s biggest agrarian state, Uttar Pradesh, where he played a major role in shaping land reforms. He was behind several major farmer-forward Bills, including the Land Utilisation Bill of 1939 and the Debt Redemption Bill in 1939.

While serving as agriculture minister in 1952, he led UP in its efforts to abolish the zamindari system. In fact, he went on to draft the UP Zamindari and Land Reforms Bill himself.

On 23 December, 1978, he founded the Kisan Trust — a non-political, non-profit making body — with the aim of educating India’s rural masses against injustice, and fostering solidarity among them, according to indianexpress.com.

Why is Kisan Diwas different this year?

What is India National Farmers' Day? History, celebration, quotes and messages
Photo: NationalHerald.com
This year, Kisan Diwas is being observed amidst farmers’ protests against the Centre’s three contentious agricultural reform laws. Farmers believe the laws will promote private investment in the agriculture sector. Several also fear the deregulation will end up hurting small and poor farmers by weakening the government’s Minimum Support Price (MSP) system.

Addressing a press conference last week, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait urged people to support farmers by not cooking lunch for a day on Kisan Diwas. On Monday, farmers observed a day-long relay hunger strike at protest sites in Delhi, including at the Singhu border.

Several farmers also reportedly visited ‘Kisan Ghat’, the memorial Charan Singh, to pay their respects on the occasion.

Some inspirational quotes to salute the farmers

Farmers Day Quotes:

“Agriculture is our wisest pursuit because it will, in the end, contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness.” Thomas Jefferson

“The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways.” John F. Kennedy

To a farmer dirt is not a waste, it is wealth. -Amit Kalantri

Their hands are tied not by ropes but by the greed of the intermediaries that the system has generated, who eat up the farmer’s income while it is on its way into his hands. - Faraaz Kazi

If the farmer is rich, then so is the nation. -Amit Kalantri

Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation but the only riches she can call her own. -Samuel Johnson

“When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.” Daniel Webster

“No race can prosper until it learns there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.” Booker T. Washington

“As long as there are a few farmers out there, we’ll keep fighting for them.” Willie Nelson

Life on a farm is a school of patience; you can't hurry the crops or make an ox in two days. -Henri Alain, cites indiatoday.in.

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