“SKM government is not honest and sincere about their commitment to organic farming”: Chamling
Former Chief Minister and the President of the SDF party Pawan Chamling said that the SKM government is not honest and sincere about their commitment to organic farming. The SKM government ignored the organic farming for nearly three years and did not even mention it in the budget. When Sikkim was declared fully organic farming state under the SDF government, the SKM party was in denial. When the Sikkim government won many awards and recognitions in the field of organic farming, the SKM party alleged the SDF government of buying those awards. But now the same SKM leaders are saying that the SKM did more than the SDF in the field of organic farming. It is just because they realized that the central government is setting aside budget for promoting organic farming in the country. Their last minute commitment to organic farming is not vision-driven but is nearly driven by the greed for central budget. They have already made the mess of organic farming and Shri Chamling hopes that the Sikkim farmers, although disappointed and ditched by the state government, will hold the organic brand of Sikkim high.
“ Q. The SKM government has now begun to promote organic farming in Sikkim. They are also saying that the SKM government has done more than the SDF government in the field of organic farming. What do you say about that?
Ans.What can we expect from a group of accomplished liars who used their lying skills so well that they were able to fool so many people into having them form the government? They are not just liars but they are shameless and addicted liars. When normal people lie, they feel ashamed. But the SKM leaders, instead of feeling ashamed, have pride and great pleasure in telling lies. Not only that, they are also hopelessly addicted to telling lies. They can’t live without telling lies. So when they so unashamedly say that the SKM government has done more than the SDF government in the field of organic farming, it is just a case of an addicted liar displaying how terrible his addiction is. It is as ridiculous as saying that the haters of organic farming have done more than the pioneers of organic farming. Can there be a more blatant lie? Let me remind these self-deceived chronic liars that when the Sikkim government, farmers and other stakeholders were working day in and day out to make the organic farming mission a success, the SKM party was busily spreading lies about the mission. Later when Sikkim was declared a fully organic farming state, they called it a hoax. When we won awards from national and international forums and organizations, those liars were saying that we bought those awards. Even when Sikkim won the world’s best award for policy – the Future Policy Gold Award from the UN, they were still in denial. So the question is, why is the SKM government, who had wasted these three precious years in writing off the organic farming legacy built by the SDF government and the farmers of Sikkim, suddenly talking about organic farming in prideful terms? The reason is not hard to understand. They smelt the central fund. Let me explain it.
The entire world acknowledges that the SDF party took a policy decision to make Sikkim a fully organic farming state in 2003, drew up a road map and consistently implemented the policy against all odds. The vision and mission were criticised and opposed by many. The then agriculture secretary even resigned to register his disagreement. But the government’s determination and the diligence and hard work of the tireless farmers of Sikkim eventually turned Sikkim into the world’s first organic farming state. We gave the world a new hope and a new dream.
The SKM government took over in 2019 and totally ignored organic farming. They almost finished the Organic Farming mission in two and a half years. It was because they neither have the vision nor the understanding to appreciate the worth of such a globally valued concept of organic farming. They treated organic farming like a monkey holding a coconut in its hand. None of them, including the CM and Agriculture Minister, uttered the word organic farming. Organic farming didn’t even get mentioned in their annual budget! However, in 2022, overnight, the SKM government changed its outlook and began to chant the organic mantra. It is because they realized that the Centre is going to set aside some budgetary funds for the promotion of organic farming in the country. This is why, they hurriedly picked the organic farming project (that they hated with all their heart) and have now kept it on their lap as if it was their own child. They are indeed very cunning like foxes. Their sudden enthusiasm about organic farming is not vision driven but greed-driven. They are not thinking with their minds about the organic mission. They are sniffing the central fund with their nose.
Their noise about agriculture is increasing day by day. The sleeping agricultural department has suddenly woken up. They are talking about aeroponics, aquaponics, hydroponics and terrace gardens. This is nothing but another version of their “100 days promises”. They haven’t even understood the concept of traditional farming. They made a mess of the organic farming mission that we had given them on a silver platter. The number of farmers decreased and the area of barren land has increased in Sikkim due to their lack of commitment to organic farming. And now they are waxing eloquent about modern agriculture techniques. Them talking about aeroponics and hydroponics is like a wasteful son who recklessly wasted all his father’s inheritance talking about building skyscrapers. I repeat that this is nothing but the central fund talking – nothing more, nothing less. My message to them is to get the basics right and stop fooling the people. First set the organic farming mission right so that you know something about farming.
Look what they did with farmers who sell cow’s milk. The whole promise of an incentive of Rs 8 per litre was a hoax. Now after two and half years, they suddenly realised that the quality of our Sikkimese farmers’ milk is poor. Why did it take so long to realize it? They decreased the milk price because they could not pay the incentive. The government will take the farmers money with one hand by reducing the price and pay as an incentive with the other hand. When the West Bengal’s Farmers’ association threatened the Sikkim government to lift the ban on the entry of milk from West Bengal, the SKM government immediately lifted the ban. But when our Sikkimese farmers requested the Sikkim government not to decrease the price, the Chief Minister and Agriculture Secretary said, “Not possible”.
It is time to remember their other promises about boosting farmers’ income. Their promise of increasing ginger and cardamom prices was a joke. Sikkim must realise that the SKM made a mockery of farming because they thought that Sikkim farmers were simpletons. When they made those silly promises, they just wanted to garner votes. They had no idea how the markets play and what role the government plays. Their promises were the desperate lies of power-hungry politicians. People believed and voted them into government. However, when they formed the government, they realised that they didn’t have the capability to fulfil their promises. The people have been deceived and are now regretting their choice.
Sikkim must realise that the number of farmers are decreasing day by day. The farming zeal that was injected through the organic farming mission has fizzled out. Our progressive farmers have been left on their own. Some still continue with great difficulties and discouragement but many have left farming. And the SKM government has the audacity to say that they are doing more than the SDF to promote organic farming. Shame on these hopeless liars. I hope that our dear farmers will continue to work diligently and keep the flag of our globally acclaimed organic farming state high and fluttering. More power to Sikkimese farmers! Jai Sikkimese Kisan!”
Vice-President, Publicity Affairs