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Need to develop an integrated approach towards rural economy to ensure income security for farmers – Vice President

Vice President's Secretariat Need to develop an integrated approach towards rural economy to ensure income security for farmers – Vice PresidentVP

Vice President’s Secretariat

Need to develop an integrated approach towards rural economy to ensure income security for farmers – Vice President

VP Calls for modernizing agriculture and making it more sustainable and remunerative

Vice President releases five volumes of ‘Sir Chhotu Ram: Writings and Speeches’

VP pays rich tributes to Sir Chhotu Ram; says improving the quality of life in rural areas would be the best tribute to him

Many freedom fighters did not get the recognition they so richly deserved – Vice President

Posted On: 19 SEP 2021 2:37PM by PIB Delhi

The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today called for developing an integrated approach towards rural economy to ensure income security for farmers.

Lauding farmers for not letting the country down even during the trying times of COVID-19 pandemic, he emphasised that our objective should be the overall improvement of rural economy and the well-being of rural society.

Addressing a gathering after releasing five volumes of ‘Sir Chhotu Ram: Writings and Speeches’ brought out by the Haryana Academy of History and Culture in Gurugram today, the Vice President reiterated the need to modernize agriculture and adopt best practices to make it more sustainable and remunerative. ‘Building on our past experiences, we must regularly revisit and renew our strategies on agriculture and rural development and introduce new technologies as part of our efforts to build a self-reliant India,’ he added.

Terming agriculture as our basic culture, he said that our villages not only produce food grains for us but also inculcate in us our Samskaras, our values, and traditions. He also said that agriculture is the backbone of Indian economy and the country cannot progress if our villages remain underdeveloped and backward.

Observing that the entire agri-chain from farm to fork offers tremendous opportunities for remunerative value addition, Shri Naidu called for unshackling this latent potential of the rural economy. He further said that improving the quality of life in rural areas would be our true tribute to revolutionary visionaries like Sir Chhotu Ram.

Complimenting Haryana Academy of History and Culture and all researchers associated with the project, the Vice President said that these five volumes on Sir Chhotu Ram would provide meaningful insights into the agrarian economy and political dynamics of the region during the eventful years of our freedom movement. Shri Naidu also suggested that copies of this valuable publication should be available in public libraries and Panchayat Ghar so that the people could read and learn about the life and work of the great leader.

The Vice President further said that many of our freedom fighters did not get the recognition they so richly deserved and called for making efforts to spread awareness among the present generations about their life and work.

Observing that the independence movement was not just a political movement, he said, it rather had a deep social and economic reformist agenda as well. He praised many a contribution of Sir Chhotu Ram for the cause of nation building. ‘He worked tirelessly to bring reforms in the agriculture sector and to free farmers from the exploitation of moneylenders,’ Shri Naidu added.

Mentioning that Sir Chhotu Ram was the first person to visualise the Bhakhra Nagal dam on Sutlej river, the Vice President said that being a farmer’s son he had deep understating of the farmers’ problems and always strived to find solutions for them. He also praised the legendary leader for his bold initiatives in the field of social reform and education.

Recalling Sir Chhotu Ram’s strong opposition to the partition of the country, the Vice President said that he was a true nationalist who dreamt of a united and strong India.  Calling Sir Chhotu Ram as a man of renaissance, Shri Naidu said that he ushered in new ideas in polity, society and rural economy. He further said that our younger generation should take inspiration from great personalities like Chaudhary Chotu Ram ji, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Ji, Ram Manohar Lohia Ji and Chaudhary Charan Singh Ji and strive to build an Atma Nirbhar Bharat.

Complimenting former Union Minister, Chaudhari Birendra Singh for endeavouring to popularise the legacy of Sir Chhotu Ram, Shri Naidu urged all state governments to prepare similar compilations on prominent leaders from their respective states. He exhorted the youth “to read books on great leaders such as Chotu Ram, visit historical places such as their birthplaces and draw inspiration from their lives.”

The Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Manohar Lal, former Union Minister, Chaudhary Birender Singh, former Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Om Prakash Chautala, former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Shri Vijay Bahuguna, Principal Secretary, Art & Cultural Affairs, Haryana, Shri D Suresh, Director, Haryana Academy of History and Culture, Prof. Raghuvendra Tanwar and several sitting and former MPs and people’s representatives were among those who attended the event.

Following is the full text of speech –

“सर छोटू राम जी के लेखों और पत्रों के संकलन के इन पांच खंडों का लोकार्पण करते हुए मुझे हर्ष और संतोष की अनुभूति हो रही है।

मुझे संतोष है कि  मैं हमारे देश की इतनी महान विभूति से जनता को परिचित कराने का माध्यम बना।

इस संकलन को प्रकाशित करने के लिए मैं हरियाणा अकादमी ऑफ हिस्ट्री एंड कल्चर की सराहना करता हूं।

इन पांच खंडों में उस समय की राजनैतिक और आर्थिक परिस्थितियों पर सर छोटू राम जी जैसे प्रबुद्ध  राजनेता के विचारों को एकत्र किया गया है।

मेरा मानना रहा है कि हमने अपने इतिहास की अनेक महान विभूतियों के साथ न्याय नहीं किया। उन्हें वो सम्मान नहीं दिया जिसके वे अधिकारी थे।

हमारे स्वाधीनता आंदोलन के अनेक ऐसे नायक थे जिन्होंने अपने क्षेत्र में या समुदाय में काम किया लेकिन उनके द्वारा किए गए कामों का महत्व क्षेत्र या समुदाय तक सीमित नहीं था बल्कि देश व्यापी था ।

ऐसे महापुरुष हर क्षेत्र, हर वर्ग में हुए जिन्होंने शोषण और अन्याय के खिलाफ  लोगों को जागरूक किया, उन्हें संगठित किया।

 जरूरी है कि इन विभूतियों के जीवन और कामों से देश को परिचित कराया जाय।

उन्हें देश के इतिहास में सम्मान के साथ स्थापित किया जाय।

जिससे आने वाली पीढ़ियां, स्वाधीनता आंदोलन में विभिन्न क्षेत्रों और वर्गों के संघर्ष से भी परिचित हो सकें।

 स्वाधीनता आंदोलन, अंग्रेजी सत्ता के खिलाफ सिर्फ राजनैतिक आंदोलन नहीं था।

 स्थानीय समुदायों के स्तर पर वह  सामाजिक, आर्थिक सुधार का भी आंदोलन था। वह सांस्कृतिक जागरण का आंदोलन था।

उन्नीस सौ बीस (1920) से उन्नीस सौ चालीस (1940) की अवधि में, अविभाजित पंजाब की राजनीति में,  चौधरी छोटू राम जी और उनकी यूनियनिस्ट पार्टी के योगदान को कैसे भुलाया जा सकता है, जिन्होंने धर्म के आधार पर देश के बंटवारे का विरोध किया।

 उनकी मृत्यु के बाद, विभाजन के समय पंजाब में हुई हिंसा का इतिहास गवाह है। तब सरदार पटेल ने कहा भी था –

“I would not have had to worry of the Punjab, if Chhotu Ram was alive.”  

1919 के संवैधानिक सुधारों के बाद से  सर छोटू राम जी पंजाब विधान मंडल में चुने जाते रहे। अपने ” Rural Block” के माध्यम से किसानों और उस क्षेत्र के मुद्दे उठाते रहे।

उन्नीस सौ सैंतीस (1937) के चुनावों के बाद पंजाब में यूनियनिस्ट पार्टी की सरकार में विकास मंत्री के रूप में सर छोटू राम जी ने किसानों को साहूकारों, आढ़तियों के शोषण से मुक्त कराने के लिए कानून बनाए।

 उन्होंने कृषि श्रमिकों के हित में जिन कानूनों को लागू किया उन्होंने भविष्य के कृषि सुधारों की नींव रखी।

उन्होंने ब्याज और कर्ज़ के कुचक्र से किसानों को मुक्ति दिलाई, उनकी भूमि को वापस दिलवाया।

किसानों के गिरवी रखे घरों, जानवरों को साहूकारों के कब्जे से बचाया।

 किसान अपनी उपज का सही दाम पा सकें इसके लिए स्थानीय स्तर पर मंडियां स्थापित करवाईं।

मुझे ज्ञात हुआ है कि उन्होंने कृषि और पशुपालन में आधुनिक वैज्ञानिक प्रणाली विकसित करने के लिए शोध संस्थान स्थापित किए।

मुझे यह भी ज्ञात हुआ है कि सतलज पर  भाखड़ा बांध की कल्पना सबसे पहले सर छोटू राम जी ने ही की थी और उसके निर्माण के लिए अंग्रेज सरकार तथा बिलासपुर के शासक से समझौता भी किया था।

ये कार्य वही व्यक्ति कर सकता है जिसने किसानों और कृषि की समस्याओं को स्वयं अनुभव किया हो।

 जो अपने समाज की समस्याओं के प्रति गहरी समझ और संवेदना रखता हो।

सर छोटूराम जी स्वयं एक किसान परिवार से थे।

ग्यारह  वर्ष (11 years) के उस बच्चे की वेदना के बारे में सोचिए जिसकी पढ़ाई के लिए कर्ज मांगने पर, उसके पिता को  साहूकार से अपमानित होना पड़ा हो।

इसी घटना ने उस बालक को शिक्षित होने और शोषण के खिलाफ लड़ने का संकल्प दिया।

सर छोटूराम ने न केवल देश के प्रतिष्ठित कॉलेजों से शिक्षा हासिल की बल्कि आप स्वयं शिक्षक भी रहे और कई शिक्षा संस्थाओं को स्थापित भी किया।

सर छोटूराम जी विचारक और लेखक थे।

उन्होंने ट्रिब्यून जैसे अखबारों में नियमित लेख लिख कर समाज के लोगों को भी जगाया।

 कई अखबारों का संपादन भी किया।

अपने समुदाय में जागृति लाने के लिए आपने ” जाट गजट”  नामक पत्र की स्थापना की और उसमें लेखों के माध्यम से क्षेत्र की समस्याओं पर लोगों का ध्यान दिलाया, उन्हें संगठित किया।

मुझे बताया गया कि जाट गजट हरियाणा का सबसे पुराना समाचार पत्र है और उसे आज भी पढ़ा जाता है।

मित्रों,

भारत में कृषि सिर्फ व्यवसाय नहीं है, यह हमारी संस्कृति का आधार है।

 गांव के खेतों में सिर्फ अनाज ही नहीं पैदा होता, हमारे सामुदायिक संस्कार भी  जन्म लेते हैं।

 यदि गांव पिछड़ेगा तो हमारे संस्कार भी पिछड़ेंगे, उनमें रूढ़ियां – कुरीतियां पनपेंगी।

हमारी संस्कृति पिछड़ेगी और देश का विकास रुकेगा।

एक खुशहाल गांव का समाज भी जीवंत होता है। वह अपनी कुरीतियों को खुद दूर करता है।

इसी लिए सर छोटू राम ने आर्यसमाज के प्रसिद्ध क्रांतिकारी आचार्य स्वामी श्रद्धानंद के साथ मिल कर, क्षेत्र के लोगों में सामाजिक चेतना जगाने का महान प्रयास किया।

Friends,

As you all are aware, agriculture is our basic culture.

As you all are aware, agriculture has traditionally been the backbone of our economy. It has been the endeavor of every government to improve the living conditions of our farmers and provide remunerative prices to various crops.  Our villages not only produce food grains for us but also inculcate in us our Samskaras, our values, and traditions. If the villages remain underdeveloped and backward, the momentum of the country’s progress will be affected.

It is absolutely important to modernize agriculture and adopt best practices to make it more sustainable and remunerative. Building on our past experiences, we must regularly revisit and renew our strategies on agriculture and rural development and introduce new technologies as part of our efforts to build a self-reliant India.

Our objective should be the overall well-being of rural society. We need to develop an integrated approach toward the rural economy to ensure income security for our farmers. Not only the agricultural produce but the entire value chain from Farm to Fork opens up new opportunities for remunerative value addition. We have to unshackle this latent potential of our rural economy.

No doubt, the Union government, and various state governments have been taking steps to increase farmers’ income. We must certainly do more.  Our farmers have never let the country down. Even at the height of the pandemic, they have ensured a record production of food grains.

Farmers’ welfare should be uppermost priority. Agriculture has to be made viable and profitable. Many steps were taken and many more need to be taken.

Doubling the farmers’ income as rightfully emphasized by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Bhai Modi should be our endeavor. Along with this, the quality of life of people in rural areas should be improved. That will be our true tribute to revolutionary visionaries like Sir Chotu Ram.

The Chief Justice of India had recently spoken on the need to change colonial laws. I fully agree with him as many of the laws are outdated and out of sync with the present times. Not only laws, we need to do away with other relics of colonial rule like donning robes for University Convocations and the way some of us address our elders.  I have introduced changes in the Rajya Sabha, regarding placing of reports, making of mentions and also in promoting the use of mother tongue by the members. I hope the same things will happen in all wings of administration and judiciary. This is the need of the hour and should be part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat. We should take inspiration from great leaders like Chotu Ram ji, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Ji, Ram Manohar Lohia Ji , Chaudhary Charan Singh Ji and others.

I once again compliment all the researchers associated with this project and the publishers, for bringing out these five volumes.  These volumes provide considerable material for further research on the agrarian economy and political dynamics of this region during those eventful years of our freedom movement.

I compliment Chaudhari Birendra Singh ji, Former Union Minister and Grand son of Shri Chhotu Ram for his efforts in popularising the legacy of the illustrious leader. 

I call upon the youngsters to read books on great leaders such as Chhotu Ram, visit historical places such as their birthplaces and draw inspiration from their lives.

I would urge all state governments to prepare similar compilations of works on prominent leaders from their respective states. With these words, I am pleased to release these Volumes.

Jai Hind!”

*****

MS/RK/DP

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