Indian democracy? Towards transparency, accountability and ensuring citizen’s  freedoms?
What is Modi’s new talk of New India?
Can Indian democracy succeed without fighting corruption and black money menace?

Mr.Modi after the series of victories in the Assembly elections seemed to have changed his goals too. He was till now, that is, in his first two years was promising many things. Many pet schemes. Swatch Bharat etc. Now, suddenly he started talking of New India.

Also, after the third meeting of the Niti Ayog meeting with all the chief ministers in attendance, the Prime Minister started talking about his three year action plan, seven year development plan and fifteen year vision plan!

Even the traditional jargon had been dropped and new words and phrases had come in. Is this enlightening? What the assembled Chief Ministers had told in the meet? No information, no news. What sort of transparent governance is this? This is very unsatisfactory.

Also, suddenly, the Supreme Court had ordered to create the Lokpal, the top anti-corruption institution that is hanging fire for a very long time. (Add from the previous writing). It is unlikely that this would be complied with.

It is time India brings about  proper political reforms to ensure that the Parliamentary system adheres to the British model of the two party systems. Two major parties, the ruling and the Opposition party and the rights and privileges of the Opposition party’s functioning. Now, there is a certain distortion.

The ruling party with an overwhelming majority with a strong-minded Prime Minister tries to dominate and over-ride the checks and balances and tries to drown the voice of the opposition in many ways.

And if this comes at a time when the leader of the opposition, not the formal front faced but the real power concentrated, as it is, at the hands of a dynastic member like Rahul Gandhi and when Rahul Gandhi is perceived to be weak and temperamental and highly arbitrary, then, the parliamentary system falters. Why, now even in the media, on TV screens there are open debates about sidelining Rahul Gandhi and bringing to the centre stage either Mamata Bannerjee or Nitish Kumar as the new face of Opposition unity. Whether this would work or Mr.Modi might find new ways to scuttle the opposition unity?

This is the big question. As it is proved right now in India there are still discordant voices in the ruling combine as well as in the opposition ranks.

India has a legitimate role as a leading democracy of the parliamentary type in the world outside UK. Even in the USA there is no such clear demarcation of the roles of the ruling and Opposition party.

Or, the various coalitions, we find in the UK. There is the Liberal Democratic Party in the UK with a long history and pedigree of liberalist political tradition. In India, we had had some Left socialist parties in the beginning of our Republic. But now, they have gone and in their places are the very many regional parties, many smaller, splinter parties like JD(U) and JD(S) besides the left-over other small outfits, including the two Communist parties.

The Indian polity is also highly polarised after the emergence of the BJP. But our religious communalism is very different to the Islamic communalism, the extremist, violent and terrorist parties and groups. The point here is that while democracy is spreading everywhere, the spelling out of the basic core values of democratic practices are not yet fully made clear.

In fact, in our time, there are not enough clarity, no theoreticians have emerged or high profile critics have come forward to clearly define what are the next critical steps to deal with this worldwide crisis in the democratic systems and practices.

Russian democracy in crisis.
In Russia Mr. Vladimir Putin, the incumbent president is perceived to be authoritarian, war monger and also using intelligence to interfere with other democracies, in the USA, now in Turkey and even in France.

In India itself we see these various distortions making democracy and an open society highly corrupt, so many criminal cases pending before a delayed judicial system and also the media curbed and subtly terrorised and of course much false propaganda and brainwashing also noticed.

In  Russia, for instance, we see the suppression of democracy in a more brazen manner.
The Russian Opposition leader ,Alexei Navalny,(put Navalny picture here)who conducted some popular protests in Moscow and elsewhere, where his protests drew big crowds, he was arrested and handcuffed and his hand tied to the policeman guarding him in the court was highly publicised abroad and had earned Vladimir  really bad name!

So, this type of democratic government  can be also a big power in international arena.
There is no Opposition party in Russia, recognised in the constitution, we believe.

17 years as president?
blogVladimir Putin is in power for 17 years. Putin also changed his roles, first as president, then as prime Minister and then again reverted to President Office! But then Russian democracy is  hugely corrupt.

Only now, it seems the Russians are taking to the streets, to protest against corruption, the Opposition leader had faced three criminal trials in the past  six years. Charges for what? For organising protests! The Putin is criticised for spreading intrigue  abroad and not facing challenges at home.

There was an online video by Mr.Navalny accusing the number Two, Dimitry Medvedev, prime minister and one of Mr.Putin’s most loyal lieutenants, of a huge scheme of corruption that allegedly brought him to own large luxury estates and vineyeards.

There is a tradition of suppression of political rights of citizens. Even before the 1917 Communist Revolution. Even in the pre-revolutionary Tsarist Russia. There even now, the Russian citizens are also a bit politically apathetic. May be the authoritarianism practised under Putin.

72 per cent of those aged between 18 and 24 voted for the Russian military occupation of Crimea in 2914.Russia is not bothered about the world opinion on this blatant military  adventure. Are the Indian citizens politically more awakened than the Russian citizens? Better, we study this question in India.

Leading political parties in India must set up research wings  and study a comparative party systems and politics in some of the big nations, say, Russia, USA and China?
There will be many useful lessons for us.

So this is not a democracy as we know it. In India also we see many distortions. The Congress party, the historic party that won political freedom in the last 70 odd years, had progressively deteriorated  into a third rate family dynasty.

Sonia Gandhi’s incompetency is coming out, as she tries to hold her supporters together. Almost every day, some senior leader is deserting her or being “sacked”! What a leadership  she is displaying?

The ruling BJP  is becoming more and more aggressive and trying to consolidate its power of the party and government in many novel ways. The Opposition, especially, the Congress is being marginalised by several forces, a series of electoral defeats, the new corruption scandals linking Vadra and Gandhi family. Also, other senior leaders of the Congress are also drawn into the corruption scenario, thus making the attempt to forge Opposition unity impossible. As commentators have noted that Mr.Modi might find Rahul Gandhi, to retain him as long as possible, is the best bet for him to remain  as the only alternative before India.

Times are ominous. Indian democracy’s biggest challenges are here, right now!

Note: Excerpts from a forthcoming autobiography of Mr.V.Isvarmurti, M.A.Visva Bharati) M.A.(Oxon) former Member, Madras Legislative Council, formerly of the AICC, 1962-1967. Worked with Kamaraj, Atulya Ghosh, Sadiq Ali and others.

Celebrating Democracy?
Yes, but then is Indian democracy winning?
This year’s Nobel Prizes for Literature and Peace!
They are to vindicate democracy and democratic values in the modern times.

nobelSo, every country calling itself democracy or a modern nation has to ask some tough questions.In India we seem to take pride in our democracy.

Fine. But then how do we see our democracy?

Winning power through the General Elections, a herculean task by any standards is a success for us, for the citizens of India.
But then winning elections by use of big money, very much like that of the US election practices, have also led to easily undermine democrative values and practices.

Indian democracy on the one had seems winning. But then power is seen as brutal power, riding rough-shod over established institutions and why, even turning things upside down. This is seen happening in India.

Outside India Mr.Modi seems to have hit upon making a splash over the Indian disaspora, more so in the USA where the well-educated Indians are settled.

But will the outside world applaud all what Mr.Modi is doing to win friends and influence people?

In our opinion, here Mr.Modi is clearly short-sighted.You have to win the minds and souls of people, the intellectual and the elite classes everywhere would be only too sceptical about Mr.Modi’s roadshows, so to say.

Anyway, here are some thoughts for the elite and the general public alike.President of India, Pranab Mukerjee, has called for India sticking to India’s core values. What are India’s core values? This question had been asked many times and by many people. And answers to have been many depending upon who gives the answers.

If we are to take the present leaders of the ruling party, namely, BJP and more in particular the Prime Minister Mr.Narendra Modi, even here the answers tumble out of   unspecifid situations, events and even some emerging crises time to time, as it happens especially in politics.

Can we say that we are running a democracy, a well-defined one or one that can be interpreted as we like depending on the occasion. Take the Bihar election campaign. The Bihar campaign saw with star campaigners like Modi himself, besides the veterans like Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar.

In fact, it was the wordy duel between Modi and Lalu that saw new words, new coinages and in the hands of Lalu, no less with Modi, we saw all sorts of verbal battles. Election rhetoric a new high.

But in this word war, it is the truth that was the causality.
This year’s two Nobel Prizes, for Literature and for Peace asserted one   world reality.

The Literature Prize went clearly to the Belarus writer of journalism and literature that the Swedish Academy said the writer mapped the Soviet Soul and it mirrored her version of the exercise of authoritarian political power, first under the Soviet Union, later as an independent nation by the Belarus dictatorship. Ironically as we write these lines the Belarus Presidential elections are about to take place and as of now, as the Nobel write said the President of her country had not yet responded to the award and the President had not congratulated   his country’s now famed citizen!

Also, this year’s Nobel for Peace had gone to the Tunisian four civil society groups that had successfully participated in restoring democracy in Tunisia. This Tunisian achievement is of much greater significance when we see the 2010 Arab Spring protests in other Arab nations like Egypt in fact led to the reversal of democratic process and led to re-establishment of dictatorships.

So, there is a strong message in this year’s Nobel awards.
The world is changing; new nations like China, Japan and Turkey, among others, the citizens of these nations also went on to win the coveted Nobels.

Also, in the wider world there are also new developments. The democratic nations like the USA and other EU countries are almost silent on the IS crisis in Syria while the Russian President, Putin, is sending his missiles into Syria.

We have to remind ourselves that Russia is not a democracy we know it.

While India is also a democracy, the recent events, the Dadri massacre and other developments have led to much heart-burn and worry among the thinking sections of India.

In a significant development writers like the Nehruvian ideologue( I think we can call her so considering the huge contributions she had made)had returned her Sahitya Academic award and following her example other luminaries like the famed Hindi poet, Ashok Vajpei, one more Sahitya award winner and now latest Sashi Despande also had returned their awards.
Of course, there is still not any strong protest again Mr.Modi’s very many contradictory  behaviour.

We, Indians, are known for our character deficiencies. We usually don’t go against the current, rather we try to sail with the wind.

So, there is a question mark on the horizon. Is the Indian democracy on the progressive ascent? Or, is it on the descent? We are failing arrest from the standards we have learnt to be our own, our own Indian democratic standards.

Secularism, plurality, toelrance and the co-existence of dissent and debate. India has to  rise up in the comity of nations that we have something to contribute by way of new ideas and bold innovations to take the democratic values to a new high.

Unlike as we see  even in the USA, currently shown  as our role model to imitate, both by the reigning leaders of the two countries and also by the much-feted Indian disaspora.Mr.Narednra Modi might not be taken very seriously. His priorities are different from what the genuine Indian concerns are.

Or, unlike some of the American practices like lack of civility in the police administration, lax gun control and the latest  widely perceived  racial discrimination in admissions to the Ivy League universities and also in jobs in higher levels.

The point here is that America is no more a  destination for millions of Indians who dream of an American Dream.

At that distance, there looms a not so beautiful a dream. The ugly realities, it is time to take note of. It is the duty of Indian   thinkers to outline out own critical observations of America, American democratic values.

Compare and also contrast what strengths Indian  democratic institutions have and what needs to be  done here.

The time for submissive surrender to foreign intellectual manipulations, either from the USA or from other countries. India has been for long a colony. This colonial bondage still hangs heavy on the Indian minds.

My view is that to improve our democratic standards we need new ideas, bold ideas and these new ideas won’t come from the government alone. It often doesn’t take place. Ruling politicians, the political elite, seized as they are with their own frenzied enthusiasm, throw overboard even what little refinements we had practised so far.

Many institutions like, for instance, Lokayukta, are downgraded or weakened. There are so many such deviations.
Indian intellectuals speak out

So, intellectuals and experts, those committed to higher values, must stand up and speak out.

Let us draw inspirations from this year’s Nobel awards. India must become a mature society and our democracy a mature one.

Challenges of Democracy
Roles of ruling party and Opposition parties

jaswant-singhThe BJP has some vague socio-cultural ideology. It has no sound political ideology. Nor any historically relevant economic ideology. It is time we realise India itself now needs a very clearly stated contemporary ideologies.

We can’t see any one country. We are not China. Nor the USA. We can at least draw some lessons from the many regimes in the EU. There has been a trend toward some conservative social democracies, as in UK and Germany. Centrist politics, liberal private sector -led economic growth models seem relevant to India.

We have to think afresh. The Congress and the BJP shouldn’t fall into the trap of too much populism. Corruption and black money are the twin evils of irresponsible private capitalism. So, we need to think afresh in an objective manner.

Modi government after a year
The Independence Day came and went. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took off as soon as the festivities were over to the Gulf Region. It is the Prime Minister’s prerogative to do whatever he deems a priority and as such the Pm has lot of leverage over the direction of the country, the polity, economy, the very fabric of the Indian political system. Now, certain public perceptions and public opinion emerge as the days and months roll on.
After a year in power and after the many promises he made, from election campaign to Independence Day speeches, the public from certain judgements.

How far Mr.Modi has come from being a daring campaigner to a committed Prime Minister?

He has now faced certain resistance from the Opposition, the Congress plainly decided to obstruct the normal functioning of Parliament. Yes, the monsoon session was a washout.
How had been the Parliaments in the past? Yes, there were obstructions and there were floor managers, there were men like Pramod Mahajan and Kamalnath and governments did business.

Even now, there are indications that Opposition parties like the SP and BSP, why even some like the Trinamool and even the BJD, why even AIADMK and even the most wily of all, the DMK, a veteran in the game of political chess playing may prove to be a good game!

It is the real test of Mr.Modi in the days and months ahead to manage and get things done and face the next election, four years later. India is a democracy, why, a great democracy. We are admired abroad for the simple reason our democracy had survived and even prospered. Our Election Commission help is sought after in many countries, even the USA sought our help.

But then, this is the first time that a long-standing party like the Indian National Congress (INC) had been wiped out literally, a pathetic 44 MPs is no news at all. Now, as the major Opposition where does Rahul Gandhi, the designated heir would go?

The INC is simply forgetting the harsh realities. It is a large party but it has become a one-person party. Sonia seems to imagine she will be there for any long time she desires.
The party had forgotten its own time-table. When Rahul will be elevated? It looks it not so near or so easy.

The seniors who had made an appearance dot want Sonia to go. Their own future is at stake. Once you had learnt to live in New Delhi, the Lutyan’s bungalows, you are unlikely willing on your own volition to vacate the place!

So, where would the senior go? They won’t go to their constituencies, they won’t bite the Kamaraj Plan and so they would like to stay where they are now. That means the same old faces, the jaded faces at that would continue to crowd the AICC headquarters?
No one has an answer. Nor the party seems to realise it doesn’t exist in most major states!
Unless you build the party in the states, you have no future.

But who cares now?

I spoke to some seniors and even juniors and no one wants o speak. Neither Sonia nor Rahul are in a mood to do any hard work. So, in my opinion, the Sonia-Rahul ‘hat-trick’, the disruption is not just a trick, it is also a strategy which paid off handsomely.
As for the hard work, only the time can tell.

As for Mr.Modi, I feel that the BJP as a party and as a government need to do its homework seriously. Mr.Modi must have a real political and economic ideology. As for economics he has some good experts, the two economic experts are top class and they could give Mr.Modi really some strong inputs.

You can’t have faster economic growth without investments and this requires the role of private capitalism. Mr.Modi may be corporate friendly but then he must have a vision. The Indian corporate under the previous regime brought down the reputation of both the government and themselves.

This brings us to the role of governance. Unless you realise that unless you have a sound political ideology you are likely to trip at every moment.

From Hindutva in the back of your mind, you trip on education, higher education, culture, social spheres like rights of minorities and rights of others. Human rights, freedom of expression, press and media and the very fabric of a modern society are put to risk.
There are a range of issues of serious political implications, from electoral reforms to electoral funding, reform of the political parties (which are not mentioned in the Constitution) to reform of the EC itself.

The other important aspect of the polity is the role of an independent judiciary on which the Modi government is grappling with at the months.

All these call for constitutional reforms. Political ideology is all about vision, broad picture as well as small details like the freedom of the various institutions, old and new.RTI is the latest contentious issue. LokAyukta, Lok Pal is also part of this debate, namely, the new definition of a new political ideology for India.

There is a sense of revenge taking. All top minds are replaced and very lower categories are elevated. This already ranges from Censor Board to FTII and many other cultural bodies.

This hits upon the idea of India and this leads to ruptures. What about the headless institutions, too many to list here. So, without a strong ideology of the economic growth, ideology of the political beliefs you will be left with only catchy slogans and sometimes empty ones!

In economic sphere, there is the unstated role of capitalism. The history of capitalism is an old issue. We shy away from discussing capitalism. It is time we face the issues squarely. Crony capitalism will crop up. Unless we take clear steps to define the cosy nature of the corporate with the present government. This doesn’t mean the previous one was all puritanic. A fresh discussion and debate would do lot of good for all the parts concerned.
Democracy calls for periodic elections, parties need funds and funds can come only from the big corporates. If not the level of transparency in disclosing sources of election funds, as they do in the USA (where we saw the utter candour and commitment shown by Jeb Bush in disclosing his election funding) we see in India there is almost a conspiracy of silence from all stakeholders, all the parties seem to demonstrate a penchant for hedges and misses!

It is time we clean up. Mr.Modi will be surely watched carefully on this front. The second Independence Day speech of the Pm sounded like that. Not even a word about his foreign policy on which has done some decent progress.

Also, in economics he must spell out his corruption-free private capitalism’s role. Black money is itself a huge challenge. Of course, some scams, like the two ministers, one chief minister all require careful handling.

Democracy demands some gestures and rituals. Now, there is some tension in the ranks. A cabinet reshuffle, now and then one way to go about. May be Mr.Modi may learn his ways.
He has demonstrated will and resolve that is in sharp contrast with his predecessor.

One more last point. Mr.Modi has to face the media. Twitter alone is not the way for a Prime Minister of India. He also needs some spin doctors.

Image itself is tricky. You have to have substance too. We wish the Prime Minister well.

The pace of ‘development’ not fast enough!  ‘Governance’ not transparent enough!
Invite Deepak Parekh as government adviser!  Things would brighten up!

DSP 2--621x414Mr.Deepak Parekh, the industry veteran and one who is not known to speak in fine English language but he has a blunt way of talking the truth!

India needs straight talkers!   In more than one occasion in recent times he has openly said that what Mr.Modi promised, speedy decision making, is not happening.

Knowing Mr.Parekh’s past services to the government and other public well, we are sure the recent pronouncements must have reached Modi’s ears.  While we have any number of high profile corporate leaders. Where are the famous ones like Ratan Tata and Ambanis and others?

Unfortunately, at this very moment came the so-called corporate espionage which blew off the lids on many of the very same high profile corporate.  As anyone with a bit of Delhi government and bureaucracy, this corporate espionage is no news at all.

In fact, there is a well-organsied and well-oiled racket, even there are highly expensive lobbies, they perch themselves in star hotels, entire floors are occupied and there is a new hierarchy within this espionage racket.

Any official secret paper reaches the top barons of the corporate world before the same papers reach the PMO’s tables!

So, this is the well-entrenched Delhi bureaucratic setup. Now, what do you do?
What do you say about the Prime Minister’s predicament?

We asked a very senior leader of the BJP party, now not in the good books of Mr.Modi(as there are other seniors also inside the party for strategic reasons, we suppose) we asked him as to what he thinks of Modi, the new Prime Minister and what the PM should be doing in the coming days. He paused for a moment and came out with just two words.

Humility and truth!
Is it easy to practise the Socratic wisdom?

Mr.Modi, now after some 10 months in office and facing the humiliation of defeat at the hands of Kejriwal, is faced with a series of issues.

He has to hold his allies first into a cohesive coalition. Though it is not a political coalition, in the Indian context Modi must realise, realise sooner rather than later that he can’t take his electoral majority as a lance to bow beat others. Certainly not in the wider society outside the parties and party politics. India is a country of vast diversity.

It has many states that had great leaders, many illustrious chief ministers.
There are classes, the upper, the middle and the lower classes. They have their own dynamics.

There are also, let us admit, caste and communal hierarchies. We don’t know how much Mr.Modi had understood these diversify and the hierarchies.

Take one example. Recently, Prof.Amartya Sen, the Nobel Laureate, was stripped of his office of the Chancellor of Nalanda University for the second term. Fine.
But be generous enough. Call for Prof.Sen for a personal meeting. Talk to the distinguished personality and win him over. Win his sympathy.

Your stature would have shot up. Likewise, even the Opposition leaders. It was a fine gesture on Mr.Modi’s part to visit the Opposition leaders in UP over the social function.

But then a Prime Minister can do thousand things to win over the public perception about him. His team is fine as on date. But there is some disquiet over some portfolios.

Take health. Of course, the health budget is cut. But on such an issue like swine flu outbreak, even the PM must speak out and reassure the public anxieties.
So too education.

So too railways. Mr.Suresh Prabhu is a discovery. There is nation-wide trust in his efficiency and delivery capability. But then, the February 15 Bangalore accidents, near Anekal, with ten dead and 15o injured, show that the railway establishment is not a transparent one.

Even after 10 days the railway safety enquiry officer says his counterparts in SWR didn’t give the details of the accident. The track was welded just 12 hours before the accident and the loco pilot was not informed! This truth is not revealed! This is disturbing.

The public and the families directly affected are kept in the dark!

What sort of railway establishment it is? What the PM had done. Did he pull up the minister or the officials? Any heads rolled? Why this behaviour?

So too the civil aviation ministry. AIR INDIA must be reformed. You can’t have a white elephant, an inheritance from the previous government as it was always, Loss making enterprise. So too other ministries.

One here: agriculture. The ministry gives an affidavit that it had fulfilled the mandate given to it, in an affidavit to the Supreme Court. This is unacceptable.
What about the farmers’ suicides?

The PM must be seen as one deeply concerned. We can go on and on. As Mr.Deepak Parekh had observed that the government must move fast, act fast, take decisions.

Also, luckily, Mr.Pareksh had also come outwit very good suggestions as to how to raise funds. Disivest in PSU units. So, in conclusion we say: please invite Mr.Deepak Parekh to sit on the Niti Ayug! He would really come to rescues the government from some of its latest short-comings.

Humility and truth!
That would serve this government very well as a timely advice!

Let us listen to the farmers!
Then frame a realistic agriculture policy!

arun-jaitleyWho in the Modi government care for agriculture sector?
The Modi government, as Arun Jaitley tells (in his NDTV interview) is a pro-business-friendly government.

In telling about the need for government to acquire more lands, for some priority needs like industrial parks, infrastructure, housing and he listed five priorities, is sought through a new bill. For which he seeks the Congress party support in Parliament.

Is the Modi government a Centre-Right party?

The finance minister seems to say so. In that case, there is the farmer who are now owners and who have to part with their land under the government terms, might not agree to the business lobby terms.

Is there not a farmers lobby in India?

The farmers ‘points of view have to sought and must be spelt out in the public by the government. There are very many steeper issues involved in seeking vast acres of land for government priorities. Justice must be done to farmers’, poor farmers’ interests.

The new government in Delhi has taken many new initiatives in various sectors. In industrial development there is visible new awareness and new assertive steps.
The Prime Minister justifiably has given top priority to revive growth. This means in one sentence industrial growth and the emphasis on make in India is a manufacturing industry revival only.

But there are, as the Chief Economic Adviser, Arvind Subramanian pointed out that many of the existing regulations must be eased.  The new theme is how to make the “ease of doing business index” to be India’s new boldness to demolish the many obstacles and as Mr.Modi has observed, make the starting of the company, the registration process to be done in one day!

There are shortages of resources, coal, electricity and other constraints.
The PM is single-mindedly doing all these things.

Now, there is the biggest industry in India. What is it? It is just agriculture!
Anybody in the government is talking about agriculture?

We don’t know. We have asked for an appointment with the new Union agriculture minister. So that we can raise some basic questions that affect the prospects of agriculture. Agriculture is not only the biggest industry. It is also the biggest employer still. The majority of the people also live in the villages and are dependent upon the agriculture sector for their livelihood, for their very space.

Where are the new concrete houses for the villagers, the village poor and the others living in the villages, various castes, and weaker sections etc that are deeply affected by what the government does for the rest of the sectors.
There is a new emphasis, why, even mart talk about “smart cities”.

Yes, cities growth is now becoming more important, cities are growing fast.
Every major investment, why, major changes in the Indian economy is in the cities, also dependent upon the city environment.

Fine. Then we need a master plan. A sort of a future roadmap for the urban growth. It is because we are concentrating, we mean the government, the corporate sector, the middle classes and other factors push for concentration on urban affairs, neglect of the rural India.

Please let us note that Indian agriculture suffers great neglect. The new finance minister Mr.Arun Jaitley talked about the farmers whose interest he would protect. Even as he says so he is only talking about the land acquisition laws and the compensation for the farmers.

No, this is only one side of the land question.Now, you had reformed the labour laws and also other restrictions on investments in various sectors, you have let down the farmers with the antiquated land laws like ceiling laws, tenancy laws and other laws that had made the average farmers, owning less than one acre per capita.

The future of agriculture depends heavily upon new investments in agriculture.
New investments would come in agriculture only if you make agriculture sector profitable.

Now debt and suicide deaths are the character of the agriculture sector.
No one has said about these issues. The PM in his campaign speeches in Vidarbha pointed out how the region was neglected by the UPA government and also the NCP-Congress combine.

The PM promised he would stop the farmers’ suicides if he was voted to power in the state. The voters did please Mr.Modi by giving him such a clear verdict. Now, we ask Mr.Modi: Please do something fundamental that could make Indian agriculture a strong productive, sustainable sector.

Towards this end we suggest these following radical measures:
Please relax the land laws, relax the ceiling act, relax the tenancy terms so that new investors, new generation young farmers, new entrepreneurial-minded investors would come forward to invest in new agricultural technologies, new seeds, new biotech-based agriculture and also new high-value, high-tech farming could be brought to India.

See agriculture in Japan for instance. So too in other advanced countries. In Netherlands and Belgium.  This magazine in its 25th years had published a great deal of new information in agriculture.

Our agriculture portal, www.agricutureinformtation.com, is perhaps the world’s largest agricultural portal.

By the way, agriculture is always talked about, by the ICAR and government bodies, as a science-driven activity. We say there is the sociology of agriculture. So many stake-holders are engaged in agriculture.

Besides the universities and agri depts, there are a chain of others, from agriculture owners to agri labour and also other village traditional professions who are always dependent upon big households for their traditional professions to survive.

This side of the agriculture is totally ignored and even blacked out. Let us recognise the farmers who live in the villages are the real heroes. Let us reach them, listen to them, their suggestions for how to revive lives in rural areas.