National Farmers’ Day, or Kisan Diwas, is celebrated across the country on December 23 to honour 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. In 2001, the government decided to recognise 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. 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *