Farmers who die by suicide are cowards, says Karnataka minister, sparks row
Even as farmers in many parts of the country are agitating against the new farm laws, Karnataka agriculture minister B C Patil stirred a new controversy by saying that farmers who die by suicide are cowards.
Patil made these remarks while addressing farmers at Ponnampet in Kodagu district on the benefits of bamboo farming.
“Farmers who commit suicide are cowards. Only a coward who can’t take care of his wife and children commits suicide. Once we are in the water, we have to swim and win, not die by suicide,” Patil said.
The minister pointed out that despite Mandya district having complete irrigation facilities, there have been many suicide cases involving farmers unlike the dry and more drought prone Kolar district.
“Do organic farming and there is profit to be made. If not Israel model of agriculture follow the Kolar mode. Don’t be cowards and die by suicide,” he said.
Former chief minister and leader of opposition Siddaramiah condemned Patil’s remarks saying that people in responsible positions should not make irresponsible statements. The Congress party too hit out saying that as agriculture minister Patil had failed to address the concerns of the farmers.
“Does he have the moral right to call farmers cowards after not providing a single scheme which brightens their lives. Making such arrogant statements, you are unfit to be an agriculture minister. Resign immediately,” the party tweeted.
The minister defended his statement saying that what he said has been taken out of context and that he wanted to ensure that farmers don’t die by suicide. “I have not called farmers cowards. I have said committing suicide is cowardly. Those who give us food should never commit suicide but have to overcome all challenges is what I have said.”
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