Kerala bishops slam state government over farmers' issues

2016-01-11 Vatican Radio

The Catholic bishops of southern India’s Kerala state has slammed the state government for not addressing the issues of farmers.  In a circular, which was read out in Catholic churches in the state on Sunday, the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) urged farmer cutting across religious lines to unite to strengthen the Indian Farmers’ Movement (Infarm), based in Kottayam district.   The Farmer’s Day celebrations conducted by the government were mere shams, the KCBC claimed.  “Apart from the fall in prices of agriculture and cash crops, the issues in fisheries sector, climate changes, bogus environmentalism, debts and disputes over title deeds have posed huge challenges for the survival of farmers.  Both the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government and officials neglect the farmers who produce food for the entire population and raw materials for industries,” the circular read. 

The KCBC also flayed the government for forcing an entire section of people to agriculture by giving loans and subsidies and turning their back on farmers at the time of crisis.  “The government orders financial benefits for government employees and pensioners every year and writes off debts of companies and boards which were locked up due to malfunctioning, but it does nothing for the farmers, fisherfolk and the poor,” the circular alleged.  Kerala’s bishops criticized the state that the government failed to ensure price stability for crops, including rubber, solve issues of farmers and fisherfolk on the basis of the reports of Gadgil, Kasturirangan and Meenakumari panels, and settle issues regarding title deeds distribution, Manoramaonline reported.

The KCBC is a permanent association of Catholic bishops of three ritual Churches in Kerala – the Latin, the Syro-Malabar and the Syro-Malankara.  (Source: Matters India)

(from Vatican Radio)