Promises made to farmers should be fulfilled: Patkar

Noted activist Medha Patkar. File photo

Noted activist Medha Patkar on Friday slammed the central and state governments for not standing up for the farmers and fulfilling their promises.

Speaking at the Dr Fr Ambrose Pinto Memorial Lecture, she said that the promises made by the JD(S) and Congress government to the farmers should be fulfilled.

Take cue of the farmer's agitation and their demands of debt waiver, she said that it is only when farmers protest and raise their voices, the politicians listen. Even at the national level, we are asking the central government to look into the welfare of farmers. "It is only when parliament makes a law will farmers get their due credit. We know what is happening in Karnataka. The acts of the government are all focussed on the 2019 and state elections. All manifestos of governments are raddi later. It is a test for chief minister H D Kumaraswamy in Karnataka which he will have to pass," she said.

She invited the youth of India, especially students to join her and other farmers in Delhi on November 29 and 30, where they will place before the government four important demands. They are- freedom from debt for farmers, farmers get one and half times of their product, a farmer gets at least Rs 2500 pension and implementation of 7th pay commission.

Taking a dig at prime minister Narendra Modi, she said that they were not against Sardar Valabhai Patel or his statue, but against the works he and the government has done illegally at the Sardar Sarovar Dam. Over 35,000 farmers and 37,000 fishermen are affected by the statue and tourism. They are worried about their livelihood.

She also pointed to the traffic menace in Bengaluru and said that the government and capitalists are concentrating on building flyovers and beautification of greenfield airports. Concentration is on adding more cars to the city rather than focussing on public transport. "It took us so long to travel from the airport to the city centre," she said.

She also asked the youth their opinion on Sabarimala and whether women between the menstruating age be allowed inside or not. When the students agreed, she asked them to stage a walk to Sabarimala and show their support.

She said that in Kerala, the Supreme Court orders are openly being violated and the state government was doing nothing about it.

She asked youth to shun their inclination towards social media websites for posting their pictures and use them as a platform to poke the government and bring about change.

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Promises made to farmers should be fulfilled: Patkar

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