Claims Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh saved farmers!
Parliament adjourned for a day over farmers’ suicides!

Priyarajna Dasmunsi

Yes, there is a farce going on in New Delhi on the eve of the submission of the budget! The two Houses of Parliament, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have been adjourned over the continuing farmers’s suicides. One national newspaper prominently displayed the exact count of the tragedy, on the very day in front pages! May be that national tragedy must have caught the attention of both the ruling combine as well as the Opposition parties.

Anyway, the fact remains the Opposition parties belonging to the two ideological groupings, BJP-led parties as well as the Samajwadi-Telugu Desam parties showed a rare unity of purpose when they raised the farmers issue. The same type of unity was seen in the Rajya Sabha as well.

The presiding officers of the two Houses were helpless though quoted rules to warn and issue so many threats to suspend or take action against the members who walked into the well of the house. But the whole country knows how helpless they are, how the Parliament is now functioning, there is frustration and helplessness and anger and what not when we witness the government is not able to rise up to the challenges of the day.

Now, farmers’ issues are very critical and the epidemic of farmers’ suicides seem to have no solution whatever from this government.
The irony is that when it comes to point scoring the ruling combine has the audacity of a ruler. Mr.Priyaranjan Dasmunisi, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister has the cheek to say that the government has a bag of tricks in its budget and taking scent of the bag’s content the Opposition wants to take credit for the new concessions announced by the government!

Yes, the minister who comes from the land of the magical genius, Sarcar, and so the minister too seems to indulge in such magical tricks by making empty rhetoric over farmers issues.
Much more galling is his claim that thanks to Sonia Gandhi and Dr.Manmohan Singh the Indian farmers are saved from the otherwise much more dire consequences!

“NDA failed to do much for farmers”
This is pone of his gems!

Dasmunsi also claimed that the Congress President and the Prime Minister had hinted the UPA budget would be farmers friendly. Fine.
Further Munsi said that the Opposition parties are making the noise so that if there is anything positive in the budget for farmers they can claim it was the result of their loud protests! Dasmunsi, as every reader knows, is trying to defend the indefensible!
He should at least be a bit more mature when he talks and tries to hide the harsh realities of the Indian farm scenario. He says the budget is prepared  long time ago and it is not printed in a day or two and this he says to show that the government had already thought out a pan to reform the agriculture sector.

Now we ask Mr.Munsi: “Is a budget all that capable of doing, as much as reforming the agri sector where the deep crisis is for a long time and you were in power for a whole term and now you are about the please the electorate to win the elections and you would surely announces a series of concessions like debt write off etc and this we would all welcome and yet this budget announcement alone doesn’t amount to any real deal for the farm sector. The Finance Minister’s own performance is a reflection of his mindset. He couldn’t reform the bank sector to lend to the priority targets, Nabard is non-functional as far as its mandate for farm refinance targets are concerned, the FM simply has no maturity at all as to  how to bring about a more equitable distribution of wealth created by his one-track-minded  parrot-like rate of economic growth syndrome. Rate of growth is not economics; it is what you do with the wealth so created. That is for which a government functions in a democracy.

Yes, Munsi has pointed out how the MSP for paddy and wheat have all been raised dramatically to Rs.1,000 per quintal and other reliefs. Fine.

But to score points on farmers’ suicides that the NDA had hidden the figures and now the figures have come out etc is not a big deal!

Our stand is that this government has done much for the economy. And yet, it had failed to take the farm sector seriously. In fact, the UPA government, more so the PM,FM and the rest of the smart set had no idea of the vast countryside and the villages, this is an urban-centric and a private sector driven free market economy. And that is alright but to govern a country of India’s size and also to lend some credibility the persons who occupy high Constitutional posts must  have political legitimacy and also moral commitments.
From what we have seen what the PM and his team have been doing all the last four years they don’t seem to show any enthusiasm for  rural India, they don’t show any interest to travel to the remote countryside, they don’t even travel to the state capitals ,nor to the districts. So, they don’t know in fact what the conditions in the villages are. Many districts are Naxal infested and there is so much uneven distribution of power and resources among the state governments. Even the so-called rural employment guarantee scheme in many states is  being misused. So too the many pro-poor schemes.
As for the specific farmers related issues, there is a lack of seriousness and concern. Mr.Sharad Pawar has earned the wrath of farmers. He talks day in and day out and yet nobody seem to trust his words or promises.

Can anyone take the PM’s promises to farmers seriously? Given his past promises and what he is not able to achieve  with his Vidarbha farmers package? Or, for the other packages in other farmers’ debt-ridden states.

Do we know the views of the Prime Minister, an economic expert, on how to reform the Indian agriculture sector? Has he ever spoken during the entire term as the Prime Minister, his vision for a more equitable wealth creation or a more equitable distribution of wealth?
Knowing the New  Delhi bureaucratic culture, we can say the PM is more comfortable without any such disturbance  to his conscience!
He doesn’t have the will, he doesn’t have the moral stature to command respect and authority among the people. That is the sad message.

He seems to be running an “interim-government”, a government that is prolonging its days till a new and democratically elected government comes to power and with an authority that is reflected by the genuine and open election of a leader as the Prime Minister.

Yes, this time at any rate we have to continue with the current crisis-ridden farm sector as an inheritance of the inability of this government to life the debt-ridden farm sector from its deeper crisis.

A sad thought indeed, but what else we have?

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