On farming, commitment to modernise not make amends

Mann Ki Baat: Commitment to modernise agriculture not make amends on farm laws

He also flagged the "insult" to the national flag at the Red fort during the Republic Day tractor rally

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Credit: PTI Photo

Amid continuing stand off with farmers for the last two months, Prime Minister Narendra on Sunday said the government is committed to modernise agriculture and will continue to take steps in this regard. 

While he spoke highly of innovation in agriculture by farmers in various states, he also flagged the "insult" to the national flag at the Red fort during the Republic Day tractor rally.

Read | India was very pained at dishonour to Tricolour on Republic Day: PM Modi on Red Fort incident

"Kheti ko adhunik banane ke liye sarkar pratibadh hai aur anek kadam bhi utha bhi rahi hai. Sarkar ke prayas aage bhi jaari rahenge (Government is committed to modernising agriculture and is also taking many steps in that direction. The efforts of the Government shall also continue in future)" the Prime Minister said as he lauded the growing enthusiasm of strawberry cultivation in Bundelkhand and the huge role played by Jhansi's daughters in it.

"Experiments like the Strawberry Festival not only demonstrate the spirit of Innovation. They also demonstrate the manner in which the agricultural sector of our country is adopting new technologies," he said.

Earlier while while highlighting various good news in January including India's remarkable come-from-behind series win over Australia, the Prime Minister mentioned on a somber note "the country was saddened by the insult to the Tricolour on the 26th of January in Delhi" amidst everything else.

He followed it up with "we have to infuse times to come with new hope and novelty. Last year, we displayed exemplary patience and courage. This year too, we have to work hard to attain our resolutions. We have to take our country forward at a faster pace."

The Prime Minister's remarks in his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' broadcast come at a time when a large number of farmers from states like Punjab, Haryana and UP have gathered near the Delhi border and are protesting against three farm reform legislations enacted by his government last year. 

Also Read | Republic Day violence scripted by BJP to discredit farmers' movement: AAP

While farmer unions are adamant that these laws be repealed immediately, the government is offering to halt the implementation of these farm laws for 18 months and talk to them to allay their apprehensions. It has also said that it will abide by whatever decision is taken into this matter by the Supreme Court, which has already put a halt on immediate implementation of the contentious laws.

President Ram Nath Kovind in his Address to the joint sitting of Budget Session on February 29 had said, "Giving full respect to the decision of the Supreme Court, my government will implement that." At the same time the new farm laws have not taken any existing facility and rights available to farmers earlier.

The government is maintaining that its earlier offer of putting an 18-month moratorium on implementation of the three farm reform laws is still very much on the table for the consideration of the protesting farmers.

On Covid-19, the PM Modi said just as India’s fight against Corona became an example, our vaccination Programme too is turning out to be exemplary in the world. Today, India is undertaking the world’s biggest inoculation drive. 

Read | India providing solutions to world's problems: PM Modi

"Do you know what’s a matter of more pride? Along with the biggest Vaccine Programme, we are vaccinating our citizens faster than anywhere in the world. In just 15 days, India has vaccinated over 30 lakh Corona Warriors, whereas an advanced country such as America took 18 days to get the same done; Britain took 36 days! Today, the made-in-India vaccine is, of course, a symbol of India’s self-reliance; it is also a symbol of her self-pride," he said.

Addressing another event separately, Modi projected that a number of the initiatives of his government, such as the Jan Dhan Yojana, Jan Suraksha and Ayushman Bharat programmes are in sync with Swami Vivekananda's vision to help the poor -- the ‘Daridra Narayana’. 

Alluding to the solution oriented approach of Swami Vivekananda, he said, "take the Covid-19 global pandemic as an example. What did India do? It did not only see the problem and remain helpless. India focused on solutions. From producing PPE kits to becoming a pharmacy for the world, our country has gone from strength to strength. It has also become a source of support for the world during the crisis. India is at the forefront of developing Covid-19 vaccines."