Pre's fulsome praise of farmers but no word on their stir

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 1/26/2021 9:52:25 PM

NEW DELHI, Jan 25: President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday showered a fulsome praise on the farmers for their contribution to the people's food security, but without a word on their protest at Delhi's borders for over two months to press for repeal of three farm laws enacted last September.
In a 20-minute address to the nation, first in Hindi and then in English, on the eve of the 72nd Republic Day of India, the president said: "Every Indian salutes our farmers, who have made our vast and populous country self-reliant in food grains and dairy products. Despite adversities of nature, numerous other challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic, our farmers sustained the agricultural production."
He said a grateful nation is fully committed to the welfare of our farmers, ignoring the farmers' loud cry and the opposition parties petitioning him that the farm laws brought by the Modi government are not for the farmers' welfare but their ruin.
Kovid rather described the farmers' agitation because of what he claimed as "misapprehensions." He said: "The path to reform at the initial stages may cause misapprehensions. However, it is beyond doubt that the government remains singularly devote to farmers' welfare." He ignored the opposition parties' complaint that the laws that pinch the farmers were brought without any consultations with them and pushed through Parliament without a proper debate.
The President went on to say that "just as our hardworking farmers ensure food security for the country, the brave soldiers of the Armed Forces ensure security of our national boundaries amid severest conditions." He said every citizen feels proud about the bravery, patriotism and the spirit of sacrifice among the soldiers, but like Prime Minister Modi just did not refer to the Chinese forces' intrusion in Ladakh region that these soldiers are still fighting.
He congratulated the Modi government for the steps taken to fight back the Covid pandemic, but maintaining silence on how much the people suffered due to the sudden lockdown clamped that has left the country's economy hit badly till todate.
"Given our country's population density, diversity of cultural traditions, natural and geographical challenges, taking precautionary measures against Covid-19 was far more difficult for us. Yet, we have managed to check the spread of the virus to a large extend," he said on behalf of the government.
He went on to highlight how Prime Minister Modi "converted a crisis into an opportunity" by giving a call for "Atma-Nirbhar Bharat" or a "self-reliant India" and affirmed that it is in line with the aspiration to shap a New India by the year 2022 when the country turns 75.
"This will be a significant milestone in the journey of the nation as we are determined to achieve major goals: from providing pucca houses with basic facilities for every family to doubling the income of farmers. In order to build an inclusive society of new India, we are giving special emphasis on education, health, nutrition, upliftment of the under-privileged and welfare of women," he said.
He skipped over a sick economy of the country and instead he said adversity often plays the role of a great teacher as it made India stronger and more confidence, taking great strides in several sectors. He said: "Economic reforms have continued apace and have been supplemented by long-pending reforms in the areas of labour and agriculture through legislation."
The year 2020 also saw introduction of the National Education Policy that was in works for several years. He said the policy was equally salient, touching more lives directly through the comprehensive reforms, long overdue, with its stress on tradition as well as technology. He also referred to the labour reforms brought by the government during 2020, ignoring the central trade unions' protests at an attempt to crush the labour.
The President claimed the net outcome of the government's efforts is that "after about a year of this unforeseen ordeal and India today stands not despondent but confident." He asserted that the slowdown has turned out to be transitory as the economy has regained its dynamism.



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