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Chaudhary Charan Singh death anniversary: Why was former Prime Minister called as 'Champion of Farmers'?

In an effort to protect peasants from moneylenders and their exploitative practices, former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh proposed the Debt Redemption Bill in 1939. Additionally, he played a key role in the enactment of the Zamindari Abolition Act of 1950.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan New Delhi Updated on: May 29, 2024 10:03 IST
Chaudhary Charan Singh death anniversary
Image Source : INDIA TV Chaudhary Charan Singh was the fifth Prime Minister of India.

Chaudhary Charan Singh death anniversary: Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar on Wednesday paid tribute to former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh on his 37th death anniversary at Kisan Ghat in New Delhi. Jayant Chaudhary, the RLD chief and grandson of Chaudhary Charan Singh, was also present with the Vice President. On March 30 this year, the former Prime Minister was conferred the prestigious Bharat Ratna -- India's highest civilian honour. He was the fifth Prime Minister of India who was in office for 170 days -- from July 28, 1979, to January 14, 1980. 

Chaudhary Charan Singh: Champion of farmers

Chaudhary Charan Singh is remembered as a leader of farmers. His deep commitment to the farming community is honoured by celebrating his birthday as 'Kisan Diwas'. Throughout his life, he undertook numerous initiatives for the benefit of farmers. He is popularly known as a champion of farmers. Opposed to the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's socialist economy, he advocated ownership rights to the farmers. The three land reform laws introduced by Chaudhary Charan Singh in Uttar Pradesh brought about radical changes in the condition of agriculture and farmers in the state. He was said to have a deep understanding of Indian villages and advocated for 50 per cent reservation in government jobs for the children of peasant families, aiming to bridge the gap between urban and rural areas. 

Major agricultural reforms by him

As the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Singh is known for piloting pro-farmer legislation such as the Consolidation of Holdings Act of 1953 and the Uttar Pradesh Zamindari and Land Reforms Act, 1952. The latter led to the abolition of the zamindari system in the state. He was also strict in dealing with the 'Patwari strike crisis' in 1953. He had introduced the Agricultural Produce Marketing Bill in 1938, which was passed in 1964. It helped the farmers in improving the market linkages. During the drought in 1966-1967, Singh offered the agriculturists a much higher procurement price than the prevailing market rates. The infrastructure he laid down led to the minimum support price (MSP) mechanism.

About Chaudhary Charan Singh

Born to Netra Kaur and Chaudhary Meer Singh on December 23, 1902, in Noorpur village in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh, Singh's primary education took place in his native village school at Jani Khurd. He passed his matriculation from the Government High School, Meerut. He was sentenced to jail several times for taking part in the freedom movement. He was imprisoned for six months for breaking the salt law. He was again imprisoned for a year in 1940. After getting released in October 1941, he was rearrested in 1942. Besides the freedom movement, Singh was also active in politics in the United Provinces before Independence.

ALSO READ: Chaudhary Charan Singh death anniversary: Some lesser-known facts about former Prime Minister



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