Why is Chaudhary Charan Singh’s Birth Anniversary Celebrated as Kisan Diwas?

NATIONAL FARMERS’ DAY 2022: Kisan Diwas or National Farmers Day is observed on December 23 across India to mark the vital contributions of farmers who produce food for around 141 crore people of India. Food grains produced by them are also exported and help generate revenue in the country. Kisan Diwas is observed in honour and memory of our fifth Prime Minister, Chaudhary Charan Singh, who was born on that day in 1902. There is a reason behind this – read about it here.

Farmers’ Day 2022: Background

Chaudhary Charan Singh was born in the village of Noorpur, Uttar Pradesh, to a Hindu family of peasants. As such, he was very familiar with the lives of farmers and their contributions to society.

Charan Singh realised how the wealthy landlords or zamindars exploited farmers and this behaviour negatively impacted the village economy. He got elected as a member of the U.P. Legislative Assembly in 1937 and decided to dismantle such exploitative systems.

In the 1950s, Charan Singh drafted land reform laws in Uttar Pradesh as a parliamentary Secretary and later as a Revenue Minister for Land Reforms. The peasant community in the northern parts of the country began looking up to him after he openly criticised Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s land policies for the development of India.

Champion of the peasants

At the 64th session of the All India Congress Committee in Nagpur in January, 1959, he spoke against Nehru’s proposed socialist model of co-operative farming, which he explained would harm the interests of the farmers and food production. Charan Singh had often highlighted the need to formulate policies to help the farming community rather than create state-sponsored industrialised farming.

As Nehru’s proposals were passed, Charan Singh resigned from his position as the Minister for Revenue and Agriculture, in April of 1959. This pro-farmer stance earned him the nickname, ‘champion of India’s peasants.’

A Writer

Charan Singh wrote several books to highlight the cause of the farmers, namely, ‘Abolition of Zamindari,’ ‘Joint Farming X-rayed,’ ‘India’s Poverty and its Solution,’ and ‘Peasant Proprietorship.’

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