Social activist Anna Hazare today said the way to stop farmers’ suicide is by providing them ‘three Ps’ — price for their produces, pension at 60 years and prestige. The Gandhian leader also urged the farmers to launch a “do-or-die” stir for their rights on the lines of Mahatma Gandhi’s agitation against the British. “I believe no farmer will go to commit suicide if he gets 3Ps,” Hazare told a press conference in Bhubaneswar, hours after addressing a farmers’ rally at Jagatsinghpur. “The governments should provide the farmers proper price for their produces, pension after they attain 60 years of age and prestige,” he said while replying to a question on ways to check suicide by cultivators. “About 12 lakh farmers have committed suicide in 22 years because the governments, both at the Centre and in the states, ignored the peasants. The governments are more concerned for industries and not for agriculture,” he said. Attacking the NDA government at the Centre, he said, “During electioneering, (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi had promised to give one-and-half times the cost of production as the minimum support price on agricultural products. He forgot it after coming to the power”.
He urged farmers to join in an agitation for protection of their rights instead of killing themselves. “I know the politicians can do everything to remain in power. Therefore, the farmers need to have the capacity to oust a government if their rights are ignored,” Hazare said. Earlier, addressing the “Jai Kisan Samabesh” Samabesh in Jagatsinghpur, Hazare said, Gandhiji had given the ‘do-or- die’ slogan to oust the British rulers and lakhs came to the streets. “Now the time has come for the farmers to launch a similar ‘do-or-die’ agitation to ensure that their rights are protected,” he said. He, however, appealed to the farmers to follow the principles of non-violence while launching any agitation. “Otherwise, the governments will break your movement,” Hazare said at the function organised by the ‘Navnirman Krishak Sangathan’.
Hazare said he had been successful in ousting eight corrupt ministers from office by peaceful agitations. “I will again sit on a dharna in Delhi early next year for farmers’ rights and the proper implementation of the Lokpal Act,” he said. Seeking to infuse enthusiasm among the gathered masses, he urged them to ensure there was “no space in jails across the country”. Hazare also appealed to the farmers to refrain from drinking alcohol or taking tobacco or other intoxicants.