Press statement of Simranjit Singh Mann, President, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar).
Farmers and farm labour in Punjab are on the verge of revolt, as their economic prosperity has plummeted and are committing suicides, while like Nero who fiddled while Rome burnt, their leaders are on foreign trips. Simranjit Singh Mann.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) states that the farmers and farm labourers of the Punjab are in heavy debt. For years they have been committing suicides and the Union Government in Delhi and the Punjab Government have not thought of ameliorating their standard of living.
Moreover, after Operation Bluestar of 1984 the Sikhs have begun to flee abroad as the Hindu Indian state had put their lives and liberty in danger.
This year the Union and Punjab Governments have not announced a remunerative price for the coming wheat and other crops.
As a result the farmers and farm labour have resorted to burning the stubble from their harvested paddy crop. This has become a great health hazard and has effected the environment and ecology of the northern states, even the capital city Delhi.
This is being done as a protest despite the Governments offer to sell subsidized machinery to gather the stubble waste. But the anger amongst this profession has assumed such proportions that this section is not willing to buy or accept such hollow offers of the Government. This profession does not believe in the promises and assurances of the Union and Punjab Governments. As such there is a wide scale revolt by the farmers and farm labour, which has virtually become an economic revolt against authority. If remedial measures are not taken immediately, the political parties which are also suffering from neglect of the Punjab, will willy-nilly step into the void and make it a general revolt amounting to a rebellion against the state, which like the historic and proverbial Nero was fiddling while Rome burnt.
No political party yet has spoken or dissuaded the farmers and farm labour from burning the stubble. The writing is on the wall. The farmers and farm labour need financial help immediately, on a war footing to put it mildly but effectively. Our party hopes that the Government in Delhi and Chandigarh would be listening. Our party asks if Premier Narinder Modi could dole out $ one billion to a Western economic and military power like Russia, why are the Punjab farmers and farm labour being cheated out of a fair deal? Premier Narinder Modi is in rich Saudi Arabia, seeking financial investments, but our party does not accept any results as Saudi Arabia is a staunch Islamic states and the Muslims in the Hindu state, especially in Kashmir are being humiliated and suffer the full thrust of repression by the security forces. We want Premier Modi to settle the domestic issues in the Punjab and Kashmir before venturing out pursuing a foreign policy which will yield no results.
Simranjit Singh Mann,
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar),
facebook page: @sardarsimranjitsinghmann