Chandigarh: While the ongoing Kisan Sansad at Jantar Mantar has attracted national and international attention, today the retired Punjab IAS, IPS and Army Officers, besides many intellectuals made preparations to join the Kisan Sansad for a day to express solidarity with the farmers agitating for their fundamental rights in a peaceful and democratic manner.
At the outset, Padamshri and Kirti Chakra S. SS Boparai, former Secretary Govt of India reminded the august gathering about the various steps taken by the Kirti Kisan Forum (KKF) to give intellectual support the farmers who are fighting for their very existence after the three black laws were passed. He said that the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) has intimated that it will soon inform the KKF about the modalities to raise the issues concerning the farming community in the nation. It may be remembered that Mr Boparai has been decorated with a Kirti Chakra, which is peacetime equivalent to a Maha Vir Chakra. Taking the discussion forward, Padamshri S. RI Singh stated succeeding generations of farmers would face an existential crisis which is why the farmers have explained to the Union Agriculture Minister and his team many times that these laws have to be repealed. Advocate JS Toor presented the members with his book against the newly introduced agricultural laws highlighting the various legal infirmities in this legislation. Mr MS Chahal, former Chairman of the Punjab and Sind Bank and Mr Kulbir S Sidhu highlighted the crisis facing the farming community and both of them said that effective steps need to be taken to safeguard farm incomes and also protect the environment for the future generations. Mr DS Bains emphasized that ensuring procurement at the MSP of all the 23 crops for which the Govt of India announces price support would ensure that farmers moved away from the production of cereals (which the nation has in plenty now) towards making the country self sufficient in pulses and oil seeds. Brig Harwant Singh underlined the intimate connection of the Farm and Armed Forces. He stated that just as farmers joined the defense forces in their youth, the seasoned war veterans came back to their farms, post retirement. The contributions of soldier/farmers should never be lost sight of by any sensible government he said. Mr GPS Sahi expressed surprise that the Central Ministers were time and again denigrating the very farmers who had made the nation self sufficient in food. Brig Indermohan Singh, Colonel Gill and Colonel Guron emphasized that the farmers must take the political plunge and work for the farmers cause in the forthcoming UP, Uttrakhand and Punjab elections. Mr Gurbir Sandhu, ace shooter and former Olympian stated that the book against the black Agricultural Laws must be translated into English and distributed to MP’s and various Chief Ministers. Mrs Harbans Bahia who retired from the PCS announced that she would be happy to lead a women’s wing morcha to the Kisan Sansad. Noting the challenge to debate the laws in public with the votaries of the government stand, Mr JR Kundal expressed surprise that none could come forward for an intellectual debate. Over 35 members of the KKF attended the meeting