In PM Modi's speech at Chauri Chaura centenary, a message for farmers
- PM Narendra Modi said that farmers have been 'behind the progress of the country'
- "They also played important role in Chauri Chaura struggle," the PM said
- His statement came amid the farmers' agitation against the Centre's three farm laws
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while speaking at the opening ceremony of Chauri Chaura centenary celebrations via video conferencing on Thursday, said that farmers have been 'behind the progress of the country'.
"Farmers have been behind the progress of the country. They also played important role in Chauri Chaura struggle. In the last six years, steps have been taken to make farmers self-reliant. As a result of this, agriculture sector has grown even during the pandemic." PM Modi added during the function held at Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.
The statement comes amid the farmers' agitation that has been going on for the past more than two months. The protesters are demanding repeal of new farm laws that they say are anti-farmer. Several rounds of talks have failed to break the logjam.
In what was seen as a message in context of the debate around the farmers' agitation, PM Modi said, "We have to pledge that the unity of the country is our priority and its respect above everything. With this feeling, we have to move forward along with each and every people of India."
On Wednesday singer Rihanna and activist Greta Thunberg had spoken in support of the agitating farmers. This triggered counter tweets by the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Akshay Kumar, Ajy Devgn and others, who said that Indians must decide what India wants and that outsiders had no role to play. "Let's remain united as a nation", was the come refrain in their messages. The PM's address also seemed to reflect this message.
Listing the steps the government has taken for farmers, PM Modi added that 1000 more mandis will be linked to e-NAM in order to make them more profitable.
The Prime Minister added, "incident of Chauri Chaura was not limited to a police station being set on fire. Message of the incident was huge. Due to various reasons, it was treated as a minor incident, but we should see it in context. The fire was not just in the station but in the hearts of people."
The Chauri Chaura incident, which was a turning point in India's freedom struggle, took place on February 4 1922 at Chauri Chaura in the Gorakhpur district of the United Province in British India, when a large group of protesters participating in a non-cooperation movement, clashed with police.