It is ironic that on Verghese Kurien’s 99th birth anniversary, farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh were marching to Delhi to protest against the three farm Bills that were passed by the Lok Sabha in September. Kurien who spent his life, after his engineering studies in Michigan, with the farmers of Anand, would have insisted they deserved a hearing.Though the cooperative movement that Amul exemplified best has lost its way, the compulsions of farmers dependent on intermediaries, bureaucrats and companies, are depressingly similar to what they were in the 1940s when Kurien found himself serendipitously in their midst.That he proceeded to address each of the three dependencies in his own unique way is now a piece of history, best recorded in books like Ruth Heredia’s excellent ‘The Amul India Story’.Close For the record, the movement he shepherded starting May 1948 when he was assigned to the Government Creamery located at Anand, in Gujarat, led to India’s emergence as the world’s largest producer of milk and one of the major exporters of skimmed milk powder (SMP), the innovation that changed the precarious lives of milk farmers in Anand and then eventually across the country. related news Delhi set to… Read full this story
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