Former Army Chief General V.K. Singh on Sunday pitched support for the agrarian community of the country, saying nothing can be more sadder than the fact that the one who nourishes the country is exploited and not taken care of properly.
General (retired) Singh, who came out in support of yoga guru Baba Ramdev at the Ramila Maidan here, said the nation is facing numerous problems.
"First is the role of the farmers. Our country is an agrarian country. 70 percent population is linked to agriculture, which nurtures the whole country. From 1995 onwards, till date, more than two lakh farmers have committed suicide. In every half-an-hour, one farmer commits suicide. Nothing can be sadder than this. One who nourishes the country is exploited and not taken care of properly," he said.
General (retired) Singh said it is important that the farmers' cause is brought to the fore during the course of this agitation.
"It is important for us to raise our voice and put forward the sufferings of the farmers during the course of this movement so that they can take the nation ahead. Shastriji (former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri) gave the slogan 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan' (It means hail the soldier and hail the farmer) because he believed that the soldier and a farmer are the two wheels of India's chariot," said General (retired) Singh.
"The two together serve the nation. One fights at the border, while the other takes care of the country within the boundary. If the two will work hand-in-hand, the nation will move ahead. I believe that if retired army officials are involved in this movement, then we can demolish the corruption against the farmers," he added.
General (retired) Singh, who had locked horns with the government on the age issue prior to his retirement, also congratulated Baba Ramdev and his supporters for fighting for a noble cause.
"I would like to congratulate Babaji and you all for spearheading a movement, which is for the nation's benefit. Your willpower to assemble people from all sects of society is terrific. Remember (one thing), we all are Indians, having no religion, caste and community. If we are Indians, then we can take our nation ahead," he said.
It may be recalled here that the former army chief had shared the dais with Team Anna members during their indefinite fast at the Jantar Mantar here earlier this month.
At that time, General (retired) Singh had said 'rampant corruption' is the country's biggest problem, and accused the government of not following the Directive Principles of State Policy as written in the Constitution.
He even compared the country's present condition to what existed in 1975, when socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan had said 'Singhaasan Chodo Janata Aati Hai' (Leave the throne, the people are coming).
"We are facing problems of inflation and economic slowdown. It appears that there is no governance in the country. Every time you fight the powers that be, they will try to dent the image of the movement," he said then.
Baba Ramdev has already warned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that he faces national revolution if he does not take immediate steps to bring back black money, enact a strong Lokpal Bill and introduce measures to end corruption.
Baba Ramdev, who also extended an invitation to all parties to join his protest if they agreed with his demands, said that the Congress Party has to take the blame for the country's present predicament, as it has governed the country for most of the time after India secured independence from British colonial rule.
Baba Ramdev further asked the Prime Minister to show political honesty and political will on the matter.
The second round of Ramdev's protest has witnessed an expansion of his agenda from black money to Lokpal Bill, making CBI independent and a more transparent procedure for appointing Election Commissioners, CAG, CVC and Director CBI.
Baba Ramdev's last outing at the Ramlila Maidan, in June last year, saw a midnight police crackdown with authorities claiming that he violated norms agreed upon. He was caught by police, while trying to flee from the protesting venue in a woman's attire. (ANI)