Dr. Varinderpal Singh said that when farmers were on the highways, his ‘conscience did not allow him to accept the award.
A senior agricultural scientist at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) denied to accept the award from the Union Minister, standing in solidarity with farmers protesting against the Centre’s new agricultural laws.
For the best work done in plant nutrition, Dr. Varinderpal Singh, the principal soil chemist at the PAU in Ludhiana (Punjab), was selected for the ‘FAI Golden Jubilee Award for Excellence.’
The scientist denied to accept it from him on Monday, when the Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D.V. Sadananda Gowda presented the award to Dr. Singh at an event organised by the FAI. He said his conscience did not allow him to accept the honour when farmers were on the roadways.
Mr. Singh went up the stage as his name was announced and mentioned a few gains of the PAU-leaf colour chart (PAU-LCC) technology for which his team was selected for the award.
He then said “I have a humble submission that my consciousness does not allow me to receive this award at this moment of crisis for the nation, when our farmers are on the roads.” I wish, then, that we would work for the nation together, and that the government would listen to our dear farmers. The work I have done is for the farmers and the nation only so I feel I would be guilty if I got this award at this time, but I am very thankful to the Honorable Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers and Director General, FAI, so kindly accept my apologies.I apologise for any inconvenience. My only feelings are that we will work together for the farmers, we will work together for the Indian government, so that we can make our India a great country”.
Before leaving the stage, he chanted, “I support farmers.”