Vintage tractors: Soviet symbol of India’s Green Revolution
Some people even showed interest in buying the tractors, but the authorities said the tractors had just been brought for display.punjab Updated: Oct 05, 2017 21:15 IST
Vintage tractors from Russia (the erstwhile USSR) —DT-14 and Belarus— caught the limelight at the annual Saras Mela that began at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in Ludhiana on Thursday.
Many recalled memories of these tractors being used extensively in the 1960s and ’70s at the time of Green Revolution when India adopted modern methods to increase farm yield.
A retired officer of Punjab police, Pawan Kumar, said that there were two tractors—DT 14 and DT-28—which were extensively used when green revolution started in the state. The tractors were brought from Russia and cost around Rs 12,000 at the time. “We brought it in 1958 and used it for over 12 years,” he said.
Kumar said that the DT-14 tractor was economical as it was cheaper as compared to the Belarus, which was mostly used by rich landlords. “The DT-14 was also economical in terms of consumption and moreover had a lot of power. If the supply of DT 14 tractor had continued, it could have left behind most other tractors which are seen in the market nowadays,” he added.
Manohar Lal, a local resident, was overwhelmed after seeing the DT-14 tractor and was keen to buy it, but the authorities said the tractors had just been brought for display.
Manohar Lal said that around four decades ago, he was planning to get a DT-14 tractor, but he was not able to buy it as he had no funds. However now, even though he has funds, he is not able to find the tractor.
“These are a part of our culture,” said a superintendent with the municipal corporation, Jasdev Sekhon. “These have been kept and maintained by different people, who are fond of them,” he added.
The Green Revolution, many believe, was aided as much by the US as by its Cold War rival and India’s trusted partner Russia or the USSR as it was then.