Lok Sabha

April 23, 2015

Saugata Roy speaks in Lok Sabha on the suicide by a farmer in Delhi | Full Transcript

Saugata Roy speaks in Lok Sabha on the suicide by a farmer in Delhi | Full Transcript

Full Transcript

Respected Madam,

I express deep anguish and sorrow at the suicide of the farmer, Gajendra Singh Rathode, from Jhamdwada village in Dousa district of Rajasthan.

The suicide, took place in full view of television cameras, while a rally was going on. In the suicide note or the note that fell from his pocket, it was revealed that he had lost his crops, his father had turned him out from the house and he did not know how to feed his three children, which was driving him to desperation.

Now, two points emerge from this. One is the immediacy of the matter that how unsympathetic, unreactive our polity and society has become. The man climbed the tree at 12:25 PM. He hanged himself only at 1:50 PM. There were people there. There were policemen there. Nobody took any steps to bring him down, to persuade him to come down. Why? The media was busy filming what he was trying to do. This is the tragedy of the highest order that I can think about.

The Home Minister is here. He has said that he will inquire into the matter. But, I think for a change, he should order a judicial inquiry as to why nobody acted while this drama was played out in full view. This is my first point.

Lastly, Madam, suicide by farmers is nothing new in this country. Every year, according to the data supplied by the Agricultural Ministry, on an average 12 thousand farmers, over the last few years has committed suicide and of them, the maximum numbers are from Maharashtra.

Now, Madam, this man was distressed because his crops have been destroyed. In this House, we have discussed the agrarian crisis. But, may I mention that in February and March many States – Gujarat, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir and West Bengal – were hit by hail storm followed by untimely excessive rainfall.

Now, this has caused a great distress to farmers and you would be surprised to know that in four days, death of 17 farmers took place in Bareilly alone. 30 farmers were dead in four days in several north Indian States. This hides a deep malice in our system, that when a calamity takes place, the Government appoints a team headed by an additional secretary. That team goes to the place, files a report and in their bureaucratic style, they submit the report. This man and many farmers at the rally were complaining yesterday that they had not received any compensation for their loss of crops.

Now, shall we be bound by bureaucratic rules and practices while people die, commit suicide? I would like a categorical statement from the Government today as to when they are going to give full compensation to the farmers in the States who have been hit by this crop loss.

Madam, what happened yesterday, should not happen again. As Kiritji was saying, that the country cannot be a spectator to such suicide taking place. I would have been very happy, if the Prime Minister, instead of saying it on Twitter, came to the House and express his anguish because this is Lok Sabha, the House of the People and the Prime Minister is the Head of the House, the Leader of the House and Head of the Government. He would have expressed the concern of the Government to the situation developing in the country where deep-seated agrarian crisis is enveloping the farmers in various States.

I have given an Adjournment Motion. Adjournment Motions are normally given by Opposition Parties to criticise the Government, to censure the Government. You have converted it to an all-party discussion. I have no objection to that. If the ruling party members also speak and express their anguish, maybe, their expression will goad the Government to act where no action has been taken.

Let there be a judicial inquiry and let the Prime Minister come out with a statement. The Home Minister is present here. The Delhi Police were responsible for not preventing the suicide yesterday. But, we have to take a holistic view of the situation of the most horrific incident that took place in full view of public eyes and television cameras.

Thank you.