They would start roaring more in the coming days!

To protest on their grievances.
All budgets focused on farmers! The Central and the states’ budgets!

BL18_AGRI_FARMERS__2778315fWhy? Is it because the government care for farmers? How many farmers committed suicides, you know? No budget, Central or the states, in particular, the Maharashtra and the Karnataka budgets talk of farmers’ issues, not specifically on farmer’s distress situations. Simply because all government care only for short-term gains, the coming elections in the Assembly elections: in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Kerala, besides interest in UP.

In all these states, the BJP is weak, so too the Congress. So, every politician worth his or her salt knows that the only way to stay relevant today is to tag on to the farmers. Fine.
Farmers today are in real distress. Farmers’ power also can’t be underestimated!

There are two Indias. One is fast urbanising, aspirational and well-earning urban middle class. The other India is silent as yet and yet silently yielding ground to the urbanisation that is eating up the space left out in the rural hinterland and fast consumed by the ever-lengthening National Highways that are adding according to Mr.Nitin Gadkari, 30 kms length everyday! If true than this is urbanisation’s heaven’s rout to prosperity. The silent farmers are starting to roar. You will hear more of this roar as drought, climate change or unpredictable weather makes things harder for the farmers and rural people.

The farmers at the Jantar Mantar had spelt out their grievances, they range from drought, hailstorm and unseasonal rains and also the remunerative prices, guaranteed prices to their crops, they had narrated almost all the crops from wheat to mustard, cowpea etc. The farmers are from Maharashtra, Haryana, and Rajasthan and UP. Farmers won’t travel such long distances unless they feel distressed and there is no other way but to March towards Delhi.

The protest is spearheaded by the formidable Bharatiya Kisan Sangathana led by the younger Tikait, son and heir of the legendary senior Mahendra Tikait.The timing and the farmers’ priorities must send signals to the incumbent government. The farmers are a formidable force. there are precedents to warn the incumbent government that in the absence of a real alternative to genuine, broad-based economic development that moves beyond the current pet phrase of corporate-led urban focused growth in manufacturing and infrastructure sector, there is no clear indication that could take us away from the PM’s exhortations to believe him, believe in his leadership to take us forward in our quest for economic growth.

But then, so far, in the last two years what we witness is not much beyond some propagandist slogans on clean India and other such low key areas. Even the distribution of electricity, as we found when the PM himself int6eracted with the 71 MPs, from UP, one of the largest contingents, and that interaction gave a sort of shock to the PM and his close aides, the MPs themselves didn’t know what is happening in the grass roots! Such is the commitment of the MPs and also the working of the government machinery. Even the administration at the Centre and in the states seems to have made a difference to the state of things. Except a few ministers, at least for us to look from afar, like the National Highways Authority and may be railways and one or two others, there are sectors where there is plain inaction or at best very slow pace. Law, Judiciary are areas where we see some reverse developments. In Karnataka when we should be seeing the Lokayukta getting thoroughly killed! The state that gave the Lokayukta institution an international reputation and the World Bank cited this institution as an example for others all over the world to emulate.

Alas! why this reverse when the Union Law Minister is from every state?

There must be really some other underlying cause for this dare devil somersault.The one indicted Lokayukta is away in the USA and he is unlikely to be questioned.Corruption. And black money. These are two areas where the public is watching and we are seeing Mr.Mallya and also other high profile cases not proceeding fast lane.You see the public mood is getting restless and we see the media is also getting restless.

Mr.Kuldeep Nayyar, the much-venerated Emergency media hero has written in recent times how great many grave issues like judiciary, corruption and even the very credibility of the high and mighty remain unquestioned. Nayyar warns it was the media power that undid Indira Gandhi.

Today with much more awareness and also much more expectations and aspirations the present government has to become more active and alert.The point is that we welcome the Central government, promise to increase the allocation of funds in the budget for the farmers and rural people. And the promise to double farmers’ incomes in the next five years.The Prime Minister also announced a very promising crop insurance cover for farmers.All these are progressive steps. We only want action and reach targets.

As a responsible we would play our role to make this happen in the wider areas.

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