04 Feb 2021: PM stresses on unity as farmers' protests get international attention
Just as the farmers' protests drew global attention, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged citizens to remain united, while adding that several steps have been taken in the last six years to benefit the growers.
He virtually attended the inauguration of the Chauri Chaura Celebrations, which has been elaborately planned by the Uttar Pradesh government.
Here are more details.
Incident: Chauri Chaura incident had a larger message: PM Modi
PM Modi said the Chauri Chaura incident was not just about a fire at a police station. "The fire was not just in the station but in the hearts of people," he said.
On February 4, 1922, a crowd of peasants had set a police station in Chauri Chaura on fire, killing 22 personnel.
This incident marked the end of Mahatama Gandhi's non-cooperation movement.
Fact: He lamented that martyrs of Chauri Chaura were forgotten
"It's unfortunate that martyrs of Chauri Chaura incident haven't been discussed as much as they should have been. Although, they have not been given significance in pages of history their blood is in the soil of the country and keeps inspiring us," he added.
Farmers: He appreciated contribution of farmers in India's progress
Drawing reference between the historical incident and today's times, PM Modi asserted that farmers have always played an important role in India's progress. They also did their bit in the Chauri Chaura incident, he added.
"In the last six years, steps have been taken to make farmers self-reliant. As a result of this, the agriculture sector has grown even during the pandemic," he went on.
Steps: '1,000 more mandis will be linked to e-NAM'
Reiterating his government's stance that mandi system won't be abolished due to new reforms, he said, "We have taken several steps in the interest of farmers. To make mandis profitable for farmers, 1,000 more mandis will be linked to e-NAM."
The PM then said, "We have to pledge that the unity of the country is our priority and its respect above everything."
Fact: Unity of the country should be a priority: PM Modi
Looking back: Earlier, tweets by Rihanna and Greta sparked international discussions
PM Modi's appeal comes days after the tweets of pop star Rihanna and Swedish climate-activist Greta Thunberg swiveled the international spotlight to the protests.
The Ministry of External Affairs had also released a statement, saying that the laws at the center of the agitation were passed in the Parliament.
It was also told to view the protest in the context of India's democratic values.
Fact: MEA slammed groups having vested interests
"Some of these vested interest groups have also tried to mobilize international support against India. Instigated by such fringe elements, Mahatma Gandhi's statues have been desecrated in parts of the world. This is extremely disturbing for India and for civilized society everywhere," MEA had said.
Fact: Motivated campaigns targeting India will never succeed: S Jaishankar