People of India gave to themselves the Constitution to ensure to all its citizens Justice, Liberty and Equality.

Agriculture has been practiced in India since ages; it is the backbone of the Indian economy. India is an agrarian country with around 70% of its population. depended directly or indirectly upon agriculture for their livelihood. All the economic development in the country is possible only if, the farmer’s community is taken care of on a priority basis. Though farmers feed the nation, their conditions are far from satisfactory. It is pertinent to mention here that India is characterized by small farms with around 80 percent of total holdings less than 2 hectares (5 acres) and land mostly rain fed with only 30 percent irrigated.

It is painful to state that the Farmers and Farm Community in India has been denied Social, Economic and Political Justice. They have been denied Equality of Status and Opportunity. Self Dignity of the Farmers has taken a back seat. More and more farmers are compelled to end their lives by committing suicide. Atleast 10,281 persons involved in the farm sector ended their lives in 2019. As per the report of National. Crime Record Bureau of India under the Ministry of Home Affairs, more than 2,96,438 farmers in India have committed suicide between 1995 and 2015. As majority of the Farmers in India belong to the weaker section of the Society, their protection is an obligation of the State under Article 46 of the Constitution of India.

Inspite of the fact that India has the longest written Constitution and the Constitution has been amended more than 100 times in the last 70 years, it is shocking that nothing specific has been stated or specifically provided for safeguarding the rights and interest of the Farmers, their families and the Farm Community as a whole, which accounts for about 70% of the total population of the country and which has share of contribution of about 18% to the GDP of the nation and provides employment to about 50% to the total work force in the country.

From time to time, the Government of India has set up various Statutory Commission for study and monitoring all matters relating to the Constitutional and legal safeguards provided for the targeted community. For example National Commission for Women was constituted under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990. The National Commission for Minorities Act was passed in 1992, National Commission for Backward Classes Act was enacted in 1993. National Commission for Safai Karamcharis Act, 1993 was passed in 1993 and Commissions were set up under the above mentioned statues. However, no such Act has been enacted nor any such Commission has been set up for the Farmers and Farm Community till date, who are the backbone of the Indian Economy.

The National Commission on Farmers (NCF) was constituted on 18.11.2004 under the Chairmanship of Professor M.S. Swaminathan. The Terms of Reference reflected the priorities listed in the Common Minimum Programme. The NC submitted our reports in December 2004, August 2005, December 2005 and April 2006 respectively. The fifth and final report was submitted on 04.10.2006. The Commission in its Report underlined the need to address the farmer suicide problem on a priority basis. One of the suggestions was to set up State Level Farmer’s Commission with representation of farmers for ensuring dynamic government response to farmers’ problems.

About 15 years have lapsed since the filing of the Report by the NCF under the Chairmanship of Professor M.S. Swaminathan, but no concrete step has been taken by the successive Governments to set up a permanent Statutory Body (Farmers Commission) at National and State Level. As there is none to look into the grievances of the farmers, they are compelled to agitate on roads by staging Dharna, Rallies etc. or to put an end to their lives. There is an urgent need of setting up a statutory body for Farmers at National and State Level.

India needs a happy Farmer for a happy Nation. We need to save our farmers from miseries as they are the ones who feed us. They are rightly called ‘AANADATTA’ Our Country cannot progress as long as the inequality persists with reference to majority of population.

Therefore, setting up of Permanent Statutory Commission for Farmers at National and State Level is a need of the hour. The Government of the day must take proactive steps to safeguard Fundamental, Constitutional and Legal Rights of the Farmers and Farm Community in India by setting up a permanent Statutory Commission at National and State Levels to deal with all matters relating to Farmers and Farm Community, so that the incidents of suicide by farmers is minimised.








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