Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh is under severe storm for his recent comments made during the Rajya Sabha, where he blamed dowry, drugs, love affairs and impotency for over 1400 farmer suicides in India this year.
“According to the National Crime Records Bureau, causes of (farmer) suicides include family problems, illness, drugs… dowry, love affairs and impotency,” Singh said in a written reply to a question, while not ruling out debt as one of the reasons at the same time.
The remarks immediately sparked off the Opposition’s furore, which has been targeting the government for a long time over the controversial land bill, which is accused of being against farmers and the poor.
In a recent RTI filed by an Ahmedabad-based activist (Jantakareporter exclusive), the government had made a joke of a query made to seek the names of all those farmers who had committed suicide in India in 2014.
The government’s reply told the RTI applicant to seek the information through a concerned officer (CPI), whose name or department it did not care to mention.
A total of 5,650 farmers committed suicide in 2014, with the maximum deaths being reported from Maharashtra, Telangana and Chhattisgarh, official data has revealed.