New Delhi: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took to Twitter Thursday to criticise the farm bills recently passed by the Narendra Modi government. The tweet was accompanied by a photograph of a farmer in distress.
In the tweet, she criticised the contentious bills and said they would dismantle the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system. The post had received over 9,300 likes and been retweeted more than 4,200 times at the time of filing this report.
भाजपा के कृषि बिल के पहले-
MSP = किसानों के लिए न्यूनतम समर्थन मूल्य (Minimum Support Price)
बिल पास हो जाने के बाद-
MSP = पूंजीपतियों के लिए मैक्सिमम सपोर्ट इन प्रॉफिट (Maximum Support in Profit)
किसान कहां जाएगा? pic.twitter.com/EKWMzWIYRg
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) September 24, 2020
The official Twitter handle of the Congress also posted two tweets, both in English and in Hindi, criticising the Modi government for doing away with the mandi system, which it said would jeopardise development of rural areas. A photograph of a few of women in a village was shared with the tweets.
Revenues generated from the Mandis enabled local & State administrations to carry out rural development initiatives.
— Congress (@INCIndia) September 24, 2020
The tweet in Hindi garnered over 1,400 likes and 666 retweets and the English post has over 400 likes and 266 retweets.
However, both Vadra and the Congress handle used old photographs for their tweets. Interestingly, both photographs are from the time when the Congress-led UPA government was in power.
The image used by the Congress handle is from a 2012 report titled ‘A tale of two villages’ published in The Economist magazine.
Meanwhile, the photograph used by Vadra had been uploaded on Flickr, a image hosting website, by a user named ‘sujataschool’ on 6 August 2011. It is captioned: “A farmer looking at the seedlings at a field. The cultivation work in the district hampered due to scarcity of water.”
In 2011, Environment News Service — a US-based environmental news agency — used the image in a report about global water scarcity. In the report, the image was captioned: “A farmer in his dry field, Motihari, Bihar, India, August 6, 2011.”
The photograph has since been used by several publications as representational image with reports on farm crisis.
In 2013, newspaper Amar Ujala used the image in a report about the spread of Black hopper disease or ‘Kala Tela’ in crops in Punjab’s Bhawanigarh.
NDTV also used the image during a news bulletin video about water scarcity in Punjab’s Sangrur district in 2014. Similarly, OneIndia Tamil, a Tamil newspaper, had used the image in a 2013 report on how farmers in the districts of Manamadurai and Thirupuvanam were dealing with water shortage and failure of monsoons.
Three farm bills — the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020; the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 — were passed in Parliament Sunday.
The passage of these bills has led to widespread protests by farmers across the country, especially in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. They have criticised these bills for being ‘anti-farmer’ and ‘anti-poor’.
Apart from the Congress, the RJD, TMC and 10 central trade unions have come out in support of the farmers.
In collaboration with SM Hoaxslayer
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