December 23: Rashtriya Kisan Diwas [National Farmers Day]

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National Farmers Day


Rashtriya Kisan Diwas or National Farmers Day is observed every year on December 23. The day is celebrated to honour the birth anniversary of 5th Prime Minister of India, Choudhary Charan Singh.

The Government of India announced to celebrate the birthday of Choudhary Charan singh as National Farmers Day in the year 2001.
The day is celebrated across the nation but especially in the states majorly engaged in farming such as Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh among others.

About Shri Chaudhary Charan Singh

  • He was born at Noorpur in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, on December 23, 1902, in a Jat peasant family. He moved into politics as part of the Independence Movement motivated by Gandhi ji.
  • He was active in politics from 1931 in the Ghaziabad District Arya Samaj and in Meerut District Indian National Congress for which he was even jailed twice by the British. 
  • He was first elected to the U.P. Legislative Assembly in the year 1937 from Chhaprauli, and represented the constituency in 1946, 1952, 1962 and 1967.
  • He became Parliamentary Secretary in the government of Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant in 1946 and worked in many departments including Medical and Public Health, Revenue, Information, Justice, etc.
  • He was appointed Cabinet Minister in the State in 1951 and held the charge of the Departments of Justice and Information.
  • Later in 1952, he held the command of Minister for Revenue and Agriculture in the Cabinet succeeding Dr Sampurnanand. He resigned from all his duties in April 1959, at this time he was in charge of the Department of Revenue & Transport.
  • Shri Charan Singh left the Congress party in the year 1967 and formed his own political party called Bharatiya Kranti Dal.
  • He served as the Prime Minister of India for a very short tenure, between 1979 and 1980, during which he brought in several farmer-friendly initiatives.
  • Shri Charan Singh died on May 29, 1987, survived by his wife Gayatri Devi and six children including Ajit Singh, who later came out as a prominent leader of the Rashtriya Lok Dal, a Union minister and Member of Parliament. 

Also, Read: December 24: National Consumer Rights Day

History of National Farmers Day

  • Chaudhary Charan Singh, the Voice of Indian Kisan, served the country as Prime Minister for a short duration from July 28, 1979, to January 14, 1980.
  • He during is tenure introduced many welfare schemes for benefit of farmers.
  • He also wrote several books on farmers, lives of the farmers of the nation and how farmers life can be improved. Some of his work includes ‘Abolition of Zamindari’, ‘India’s Poverty and its Solution’,‘Co-operative Farming X-rayed’, and ‘Peasant Proprietorship or Land to the Workers’ among others.
  • It was decided by the Government of India in 2001 to mark birth anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh as Kisan Diwas.
  • Chaudhary Charan Singh followed the famous slogan given by India’s second Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shashtri – “JAI JAWAN JAI KISAN”.

Quotes by Chaudhary Charan Singh

“The true India resides in its villages.”

“Simplicity doesn’t mean to live in misery and poverty. You have what you need, and you don’t want to have what you don’t need.”

“ किसान इस देश का मालिक है, परन्तु वह अपनी ताकत को भूल बैठा है।”

“ किसानों की आर्थिक स्थिति ठीक नहीं होगी तब तक देश की प्रगति संभव नहीं है।”

What He Did For The Welfare of Farmers?

  • In the year 1939, Shri Charan Singh introduced the Debt Redemption Bill to give relief to country’s farmers from the money lenders.
  • In 1951, during his tenure as Agricultural Minister, Chaudhary Charan Singh, worked to abolish the Zamindari System in India.
  • In the year 1953, He was successful in getting the Consolidation of Holdings Act passed. Under this act, the farmers’ fragmented land holdings were pooled and re-allotted to them in such a way that every farmer got a single farm.

Wrapping Up

It is hard for the country to find another Shri Charan Singh, he during his life worked at the grass-roots level. He was a dedicated public worker who believed in the power of agriculture and farmers. To honour his contributions towards farmers welfare, his memorial located in New Delhi was named as Kisan Ghat.

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