Remembering former PM Chaudhary Charan Singh in times of farm loan waivers (wonderful archives on his life and works..)

Interesting piece by Praveen Dhanda (HT Cheri). It was 116th birthday of former PM Chaudhary Charan Singh on 23 Dec recently.

Though 23 December is observed as ‘Kisan Diwas’ to commemorate the birth anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh, the fifth Prime Minister of India, also sometimes called the ‘champion of India’s peasants’, both the day and the leader remain obscure in the public discourse at large.

However, as Indian politics veers towards addressing rural distress and farmers’ anger, it is increasingly important to rescue Singh from obscurity.

Charan Singh’s politics and ideas were informed by a deeper appreciation of the problems of agriculturists. For instance, the manifestos written by him did not promise easy solutions such as loan waivers, but rather chalked out a complex and sophisticated blueprint for the Indian economy keeping the interests of agriculturists and other small producers at the core. Despite his political swings, Singh’s policy proposals were almost always informed by his deeper thinking on developmental questions.

We clearly know little about this era and our farmer Prime Minister.

I also came across these amazing digital archives on the person (HT Amit Bhasole) whose grandson Harsh Singh Lohit has painfully put up his works and speeches.

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