Lokmanya Tilak’s agriculture inputs valuable even today: Sharad Pawar

Lokmanya Tilak was one such Indian political leader who gave impetus to agriculture production and its overall development. Through his articles in Kesari newspaper, he spoke about many people who depended on agriculture for their livelihood, said Sharad Pawar during an interview with Navshakti editor Prakash Kulkarni in New Delhi.

On August 1, a ‘Lokmanya Tilak Sanman Award’ would be conferred on Sharad Pawar. The award is nominated by ‘Lokmanya Tilak Smarak Trust’.

The former union agriculture minister spoke glowingly  about Lokmanya Tilak’s contribution towards agriculture during the interview. Pawar also said Tilak’s contribution was the biggest towards farmers. He always gave more importance to the life of farmers.

The contribution of Sharad Pawar towards agriculture was more during his tenure as a Union Agriculture Minister.   He also put in more efforts during second Green revolution.

He also financially aided farmers in the drought-hit areas. Action was also taken to set up a terminal market for farmers. He also helped the farmers in reducing the bank loan interest that they had earlier taken.

Pawar also added that Indira Gandhi, C Subramanian along with Lokmanya Tilak had also similarly contributed equally in the fields of agriculture.

After considering Pawar’s contribution in the field of agriculture and in the development sector, trustees from Lokmanya Tilak Smarak Trust thought of conferring the award on him. During the interview, Pawar also spoke about the current situation in agriculture.

He added that India had ranked first in rice export as compared to other goods. While, India ranked second in the export of wheat, sugar and cotton, it also did  exceptionally well  in milk production. Places like Orrisa, Assam, Madhya Pradesh (wheat), Andra Pradesh (rice), Chattisgarh (Rice) and West Bengal had contributed to bring India to first rank in exporting goods.

In wheat production, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab have come to the same level. In rice production, West Bengal and Orissa had come to same level with Andhra Pradesh. Sharad Pawar also said that rates for agriculture food must be higher for the farmers’ surplus production, but however opposition opposed his idea,

Later, due to increased monetary power of farmers in rural areas, there was a great demand for different agriculture goods and thereby the financial system also improved, said Pawar.

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Tilak’s contribution

Sharad Pawar has spoken about Tilak’s articles on agriculture in his Kesari newspaper. Lala Lapatrai, Bipin Chandrapal and Lokmanya Tilak, had together contributed towards the unity of India. There were more than 500 kingdoms in India. In 1885, Congress came into force and Tilak motivated the downtrodden people to join Congress. He fought for the freedom movement. In 1876, Maharashtra faced worst drought conditions.

Under these circumstances, he started Kesari newspaper. On February 2, 1892, Tilak wrote an editorial on the topic of 90% farmers who also worked in other places alongwith agriculture work. He also advised the farmers to work in other places so that they don’t face any financial problems during agriculture losses. He also ran a special editorial on Irrigation in November 19, 1901. Many opposed Sharad Pawar’s idea of farmers branching out into other businesses apart from agriculture to avoid further losses during agriculture losses. However, this idea was earlier spoken by Lokmanya Tilak also.

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