A discussion on the theme ‘Sharad Joshi: The Man who Introduced Bharat to India’ was organised during the release of the book, ‘Sharad Joshi: Leading Farmers to the Centre Stage’ by the well-known writer Mr. Bhanu Kale. Mr. Kumar Ketkar, eminent journalist and member, Rajya Sabha chaired the event with Mr Kale, Prof Pradeep Apte, Senior Fellow, PIC and Dr. Ajit Ranade, Vice-Chancellor, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, and Trustee, PIC, participating in the discussion.
Mr. Govindbhau Joshi, Executive Trustee, Shetkari Sanghatana Trust shared memories and anecdotes from his four decades association with the noted farmer leader.
Mr. Bhanu Kale explained how Sharad Joshi understood India as two contrasting nations, Bharat and India, of the rich and the poor. Joshi realised the economic distress of farmers and dedicated his life to empowering them by demanding remunerative prices for farm produce.
Prof. Apte spoke of Mr Joshi’s quest for new ideas and efforts to liberalise the agricultural sector and shared anecdotes of his close association with him. Dr. Ajit Ranade read excerpts from the book and spoke of Sharad Joshi’s personal struggles during his efforts to bring about agricultural reforms.
Mr. Kumar Ketkar described the book as an intellectual read with the potential for a documentary, “on a man who was a maverick”.