Singh served as the prime minister of India from 1979 to 1980 and contributed to the nation’s numerous farmer-friendly land reform policies and was committed to improving the lives of the farmers
The nation today, 23 December, celebrates former prime minister Chaudhary Charan Singh’s 119th birth anniversary. The day is marked as Kisan Diwas or National Farmers’ Day.
Singh, the fifth prime minister of India, was born in 1902 to a middle-class peasant family at Noorpur village in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut district. He was a devoted follower of Mahatma Gandhi and a supporter of his ideology of ahimsa or non-violence. He followed Gandhiji into the independence struggle and was jailed a number of times.
Singh served as the prime minister of India from 1979 to 1980. He contributed to nation’s numerous farmer-friendly land reform policies and was committed to improving the lives of the farmers. During his tenure as the prime minister, Singh introduced several welfare schemes for the betterment of the community.
He also introduced Debt Redemption Bill in 1939 to provide relief to farmers from moneylenders and their atrocities. From 1962 to 1963, the fifth prime minister of India also served as the minister for agriculture and forests in Sucheta Kripalani’s ministry.
In 1967, he quit Congress party and formed his own political party. He named it Bhartiya Kranti Dal. He became the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1967 and 1970 and was jailed in 1975 during the Emergency.
Singh always believed in living a simple life and spent most of his spare time reading and writing. He wrote several books and pamphlets during his lifetime. A few of his famous writings include Co-operative Farming X-rayed, Abolition of Zamindari, India’s Poverty and its Solution.
In 2001, the then government designated Charan Singh’s birth anniversary as Kisan Diwas to commemorate his contributions to the agricultural sector.
His birth anniversary this year becomes more relevant with the Centre’s announcement of repealing the three contentious farm laws last month. Following the announcement, the farmers, who had been agitating for a year at Delhi’s border, called off their mass protests and returned to their respective states.
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