Bengaluru: B.C. Patil, the Agriculture Minister of the state of Karnataka, has stirred a controversy by referring to the farmers who killed themselves as ‘cowards’. “Farmers who die by suicide are cowards”, commented Patil.
“Only a coward who can’t take care of his wife and children commit suicide. Once we are in the water, we have to swim and win, not die by suicide”, stated Patil addressing the farmers at Ponnampet in Kodagu district, discussing the benefits of bamboo farming.
Patil mentioned the innumerous suicide cases happening every year in Mandya, despite the availability of adequate irrigation facilities in the district, unlike the dry and drought-prone districts such as Kolar. “Do organic farming and there is profit to be made”, stated Patil, adding – “If not Israel model of agriculture follows the Kolar mode. Don’t be cowards and die by suicide”.
The leader of the opposition parties has condemned the remarks of the Agriculture Minister, demanding an apology for his ‘irresponsible statement’. On the other hand, Siddaramaiah, the former Chief Minister of Karnataka, has said that people who hold important positions should not make such irresponsible statements.
Seeking an apology from Patil, the Unit Spokesperson of Karnataka Congress, V.S. Ugrappa said, “No farmer wishes to end life”, adding, “There are many reasons such as floods and droughts, which have not been understood and solved yet. Instead of understanding the gravity of the problem, the minister gives such an irresponsible statement”.