Kisan Diwas or National Farmers’ Day, is celebrated across the country on December 23 to honour India’s farmers and mark the birth anniversary of the nation’s fifth prime minister, Choudhary Charan Singh.
Why is 23rd December celebrated as Kisan Diwawas?
- The Union government decided to recognise Choudhary Charan Singh’s contribution to the agriculture sector and welfare of farmers by celebrating his birth anniversary as Kisan Diwas in 2001
- During the celebrations, awareness campaigns and drives are organised across the country to educate people on the role of farmers and their contribution to the economy
Chaudary Charan Singh and his relations with farmers
- Charan Singh was born into a middle-class peasant family in Uttar Pradesh on December 23, 1902. Greatly influenced by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, he took an active part in the fight for independence. After that, his political career largely focused on socialism in rural India.
- He was active from 1931 in the Ghaziabad District Arya Samaj as well as the Meerut District Indian National Congress for which he was jailed twice by the British.
- Chaudhary Charan Singh served as the 5th Prime Minister of India between 28 July 1979 and 14 January 1980.
- Historians and people alike frequently refer to him as the ‘champion of India’s peasants
- Charan Singh was known for his pioneering work to promote the welfare of farmers and the agricultural sector.
- He served twice as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, where he played a major role in shaping land reforms.
- He was behind several major farmer-forward Bills, including the Land Utilisation Bill of 1939 and the Debt Redemption Bill in 1939.
- While serving as agriculture minister in 1952, he led UP in its efforts to abolish the zamindari system.
- He also played a major role in drafting the UP Zamindari and Land Reforms Bill himself.
- Charan singh founded the Kisan Trust on 23 December, 1978 a non-political, non-profit making body with the aim of educating India’s rural masses against injustice, and fostering solidarity among them.
- The aims and objects of the Kisan Trust are to educate India’s rural masses against exploitation and injustice, to foster unity and solidarity among them
- Bharatiya Kisan Union (Indian Farmers’ Union) is a non-partisan farmer’s representative organisation in India.
- It was founded by Chaudhary Charan Singh from the Punjab Khetibari Union (Punjab Farming Union).
- The western Uttar Pradesh branch of the union was founded on 17 October 1986 by Mahendra Singh Tikait.
- The union is affiliated to the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee.