Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the freedom of selling vegetables, fruits anywhere and to anyone will become the foundation for the progress of farmers in India. The prime minister was speaking in his monthly radio show 'Mann ki Baat'.
"Farmers are playing a major role in the efforts to build a self-reliant India (Atmanirbhar Bharat)," Modi said. Various parts of the country have recently seen protests by farmers against three farm bills passed by the Parliament.
The address comes after the country completed six months since the Covid-19 lockdown was announced on March 25, 2020. The economy has opened up in phases since then but GDP growth has taken a hit.
The Prime Minister who has been attacking the opposition for their criticism of the recently passed farm bills invoked the condition of farmers from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh to support his plans. "India is proud of our farmers, despite the challenges of Covid-19 our farmers have shown their capacity to the world," Modi said.
The Prime Minister paid tribute to Bhagat Singh in his address and said "apart from being a fighter, Bhagat Singh was also a thinker and a beautiful aspect of his life teaches us about the importance of team work." Modi also remembered Mahatma Gandhi, Jayprakash Narayan and Nanaji Deshmukh and said,
"Had we followed the essence of Bapu's economic philosophy, we would never have to be working to build an Atmanirbhar Bharat now. It would have happened much earlier," Modi said in his pre-recorded broadcast.
The latest episode comes a day after PM’s pre-recorded video address to the UN General Assembly where he expressed his concerns about the pace of reform of the United Nations and its response to challenges such as terrorism and the Covid-19 pandemic.
In his previous address on August 30, the prime minister said that there has always been a strong co-relation between nature and festivals but this time the Covid-19 pandemic has changed that. He said people are now cautious and disciplined in the way they celebrated Ganeshotsav which he called touching and inspiring.