Farmers need to be heard to prevent chaos

The farmers’ protest is a wake-up call for the government and the authorities, who need to act swiftly and sincerely to resolve their issues and restore their trust and confidence.

| Updated: 09 February, 2024 3:23 pm IST
TNI Illustration by Eknath Narale

The farmers of Noida and Greater Noida have once again raised their voices against the injustice and apathy that they have been facing for decades. On Thursday, hundreds of them marched towards Parliament to demand higher compensation and developed plots for their land acquired by the authorities for various development projects. They were stopped by the police near the Noida-Delhi border, where they staged a sit-in protest, causing massive traffic disruptions and inconvenience to the commuters. After hours of negotiation, they agreed to call off their march and return to their demonstration sites but warned that they would resume their agitation if their issues were not resolved soon.

The farmers’ protest is not a new phenomenon, the farmers of Noida and Greater Noida have been fighting for their rights and dignity since the 1970s when their land was acquired by the authorities for setting up industrial and urban infrastructure in the region. They have been demanding fair and adequate compensation, as well as 10% of the developed land as residential plots for their families. They have also been demanding jobs and medical facilities for their families, as well as the implementation of the recommendations of the Rangarajan Committee, which was set up in 2012 to look into their grievances.

The farmers’ protest is a genuine and democratic expression of their discontent and frustration with the government and the authorities, who have failed to address their longstanding issues and aspirations. They have been facing neglect and indifference from successive governments, who have not fulfilled their promises and assurances. The farmers have also been facing harassment and intimidation from the builders and the officials, who have tried to suppress their voices and violate their rights.

The farmers’ protest is a wake-up call for the government and the authorities, who need to act swiftly and sincerely to resolve their issues and restore their trust and confidence. The government needs to engage and consult with the farmers and their representatives and address their demands and expectations in a time-bound and transparent manner. It needs to ensure that the farmers get fair and adequate compensation, as well as developed plots for their families, as per the market rates and the legal provisions. The government needs to implement the Rangarajan Committee report, which suggested measures to improve their living conditions and social status.

The farmers of Noida and Greater Noida are not anti-development or anti-national; they are patriotic and progressive citizens who seek to contribute to the country’s development and prosperity. Their demands for justice and equity are not requests for favours or charity but are legitimate calls for their rights to be upheld. Rather than causing trouble or chaos, they are peacefully raising their concerns and grievances. Their voices must be heard, their concerns are addressed, and they are treated with the dignity and honour they deserve. They deserve to be listened to attentively and their needs are given due consideration.

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