Let us build an enlightened agricultural lobby!
An effective agricultural lobby needs much media support!
Two much bureaucracy weakens farmers-policy makers interaction. What should be done now? Give media support!
Agriculture is now in the dark. Not the crops and crop prices. The people who flood this vital economic segment. 50 people who toil in 15 percent wealth creation!
Not many know what is happening in this priority sector. Price rise and food inflation alone is not agriculture news. The rising inequality, persistence of poverty and various exploitations of the helpless farmers are also news and needs to be reported and written about. Who does these all public services?
Has the ministers recently spoken about agriculture? Has the PM spoken about agriculture issues lately?
These are not for rhetorical questions .but a pouring out of some accumulated frustrations! Give subsidies to agriculture media! Otherwise in a few years what remains would go off the attention of the policy makers forever!
Even now what do you see happening in the many established channels? Agriculture extensions services are almost weakened still old fashioned Colonial institutions prevail.
In this age and time of technological revolutions, mobile phones and Whatsup and what have you, the average villagers, need to speak of farmers, for every small official favour, be it the local thaluk or Collector’s office farmers have to make a trek, spend time travelling long distances and wait for a dharsan of the high and mighty officers!
Most of the time the so-called officials are either absent or in conferences. You can check this up every Monday when crowds gather at the Collector’s offices for pouring out their grievances. Oh, how much injustice still persists? Thus, we call every Indian farmer a debtor, litigant and a suicide-prone helpless victim. Now, lately, with a new type of political environment there is almost a near anarchy in governance practices.
As we rite there was a large scale eviction of urban shanties in Bangalore city where nearly 300 thatched huts near high rise buildings were evicted one fine day without any priority notices by the police and City Corporate engineers without the joint Commissioner of the Corporation knowing. There were screaming cries and much more. There was no adequate response and only NGOs and others were seen engaged in helping out the victims. This in time of so many other revolutions and communication techs.
We can go on talking and talking but unless there are independent media houses, more so the government controlled DD and also specific schemes and channels to give opportunities for independent interactions between the citizens and the politicians in power, there can’t be any democratic sense of security and the many freedoms promised under our Constitution would only remain on paper only. That would see the more vital organs like the DD and other government channels would become 100% government propaganda tool! Agriculture needs media support!
This, only the government agriculture strategy policy can imagine. It is not there right now! There is too much apathy and too much unconcern. That shows the many distortions and lack of articulation even in government agri policies and schemes! Crop insurance, health insurance and direct payment etc are all good initiatives but how are their implementation?
Amit MItra, the hon’ble finance minister in the West Bengal government, the other day in an interview with the NDTV revealed many instances that were not covered in the print media in many mainstream newspapers.
One or two instances here. The FM revealed to a question why the economic slowdown and what can be done etc., he said fear and trust in the government. There were some 30 odd cases, criminal and civil, against one corporate and he asked how do you expect the entrepreneurs to come out and invest and deal with such a government. Also he revealed many instances and schemes in the name of the PM, which show the allotted funds were not spent and also in schemes for which funds were shared between the Centre and the States and yet in one such instance quoted by Mitra that only the PM’s image is put to the exclusion of the State CM is not found! How do you then create trust, how do you show trust in the Federal character of the country? In fact, the State FM had many more such glaring injustices are rendered today.
Such mature and more experienced FMs are hard to find. Such facts and figures are not known widely. Oh, when you come to agriculture, the many injustices done to helpless farmers who commit suicides many more heart-rending go unreported. Is there any one newspaper or TV channel to cover the less glamouring and yet human interest stories or why, even to comment and bring to the attention of the high and mighty who hold forth on agriculture without stirring our of needing of the Lyten Bungalow zone and now, the Khan market!
The point here is that the Central government already what remains, we are told, is advised to reduce media advertisement and revert to TV channels and digital marketing. This is being told by man y of the Central government commodity boards and other such departments. The agriculture ministry, both at the Centre and the States, dont have budgets for agriculture schemes to be advertised, both in English and the regional languages.
Please spare a thought for the agri sector and the remote rural India. Thereby the democratically elected government might still make an impact on the insecure and left out segments of the population.
What more we can plead for even in this age of enlightenment?