Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 05 December 2023 5.07 PM IST

No point in getting provoked by criticism


The government's tardiness in paying farmers for the rice it procures from them is a topic of discussion every year. The situation remained unchanged this time as well. The hardship that the farmers encounter as a result of the delay in payment is severe. Farmers grow paddy in anticipation of receiving its price immediately after procurement. However, government affairs remain as usual. More than seven lakh tons of paddy was procured in the last harvest. The government announced that the price will be given within two weeks.

The issue became controversial after actor Jayasurya made a speech criticizing the negligence of the government two days ago at a function held in Kochi. Two ministers were also present at the function. Jayasurya not only expressed sympathy for the plight of the farmers but also reacted strongly against the lapse of the government. The Industries Minister and the Agriculture Minister gave replies to Jayasuriya on the stage. The ministers said that the actor made public criticism without knowing the facts. According to the ministers, the delay in receiving the central share is the reason for the delay in the release of paddy prices. The ministers explained that two public sector banks have been entrusted with the task of giving money to the farmers and the delay on the part of these banks has created the problem.

It is no wonder that party workers were intolerant of the criticisms made by Jayasuriya while their ministers were on the stage. This is the current trend in state politics. A party worker is not in a state of mind to accept criticism no matter who it is. There will also be tens of thousands of followers to launch cyber attacks using their mobile phones. Everyone knows that film actor Jayasuriya raised a common issue affecting farmers. If there is any inconsistency in what he said, the actual facts can be brought to light and made known to the public. The ministers who were present on the stage explained the matters with dignity. However, their party supporters later launched a cyber attack against the actor for his criticism. It is also memorable that Food Minister GR Anil made a statement on Friday that 216 crore rupees will be provided to paddy farmers immediately.

The unfortunate situation where farmers have to visit agricultural offices and banks to get their money after the procurement of paddy should be avoided. The authorities should have taken steps to comply with the declaration that payment would be made at the time of procurement itself. Farmers are very angry that there is no remedial action despite the repeated lapses every year. There are also major lapses in providing compensation under crop insurance. Many farmers have not received compensation for three or four years. These are not things that promote agriculture.

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