You see that Chhattisgarh state along with four others is in the midst of an important Assembly elections and the outcome would decide the fate of the parties in the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha general elections. The political parties, in particular, the BJP and the Congress, are doing everything, from rhetoric to below the belly attacks against each other and as for the other parties, the allies and the others too are caught in cross fires, considering the fast changing alliances, defections and bargaining’s and much more.
Where does this bizarre scenario leaves the voters, more so the rural voters, mostly farmers and other artisan classes in most of these rural pockets of India. Agriculture in India at present is in deep crisis and no one seems to have any clear vision or policy deliberations.
At the end of the day, Mr.Rahul Gandhi too with all his high decibel campaigns across the states seems to have no other alternative except to promise farm loan waivers.
Is farm loan waiver really possible on such large scale? Even in Karnataka where the Congress and the JD (U) formed alliance and the government Mr.Kumarasamy, the Chief Minister is struggling to fulfil his promises to waive the farm loans.
The very few farmers who were promises the farm loan waiver certificates are yet to receive them and once they receive them we are not sure where these happy or hapless souls would leave them as for their next crop season.
Surely, the farmers who get such farm loan waivers won’t get invited by the banks to have one more chance to borrow, even if the borrowing is for genuine farming needs.
Go everywhere in rural India, into the rural interiors and talk to a rural bank branch manager whether his bank would lend to farming, you are very likely to have an evasive answer.
Even if any bank lends it is very likely to get the property document of the farmers and very likely that option too would be most like cut for it is very likely that the farmers might have already pledged the documents and they would be over-lend and heavily in debt, not to one bank, many branches in the neighbourhood.
To cut the story short, it is really a tough task to revive agricultural activity based on the rains or on the market conditions for farming.
Indian agriculture has to undergo a very radical and controversial change from abolishing the many land legislations, the NITI organisation, the government planning unit has already published its version of a model tenancy land legislation to replace the many other similar but anti-land-owning farmers letting out their lands for tenancy farming.
Of course, everyone in the field knows well why politicians hesitate to talk about this side of the story.
We have created an environment of humbug that is against farming on market conditions. So, there is an accumulated heavy debt in rural households and an average Indian farmer is basically debtor, a litigant or a court bird. The heavy accumulation of land related court cases in the various court of India is one of the large components of the pending cases in the courts.
Once you get into litigation then you are almost finished, no hope of getting any relief, let alone any compensation for the first stake of letting out your precious landed property.
That is why you see no new investments in the farming sector. We are of course referring to the small and medium sized farms.
The rich, as they are already have had their many escape routes and the rich can afford to crush and bend to their will any troubles in owning rural landed property.
From point onwards starts your other problems. So, the rural distress is basically an outcome of the accumulated past sins and lack of any action on the part of almost all the state government.
And now, the Naxalite threats to work towards their own version of utopia. Naxalites are a disparate group. There are the tribal regions in which only the current threat has taken all shapes of insurgency. We now read that the current leadership of the various Naxal groups are divided among different leaders, some strong and the others not so strong but strong in conviction and determination to hand on.
The first phase of the first 18 constituencies in the Maoist-dominated areas of Chhattisgarh triggered a series of improvised explosive devices and l killing one Sub-Inspector and injuring others and thus they, the Maoists, have demonstrated they are still a force to reckon
with. However, given the latest reports that the poor tribeswomen and the aged had come out in the open and voted and the polling is over even 70% shows that the Maoists can’t fight the State in the long run. What is likely is that in the short-run the Naxalite groups have some fire power but it is likely to become weaker and weaker in the future.
Naxalism as everyone knows is an anarchic group. We have had the past history of anarchism in Europe and it is an ideology that wants the State to wither away!
Possible? Not at all. But what should worry the public is the urban Naxals! These people, the ones under house arrest have opened a Pandora’s Box! It is anybody’s guess where these so-called urban Naxals will lead us to or when they would reach their destination.
The urban intellectuals who also proclaim their affiliations, let us hope, would end up as hopelessly frustrated one day, sooner this is like to happen, given their back grounds as middle class theoreticians and writers of theatres and novels or simple radical columnists.
Agriculture is deeply in the current crisis. Unless agriculture is revived and rural prosperity is ensured there would be crisis and discomfort in the rural scenario.
Of course, agriculture too can’t be revived so easily. Agriculture’s priorities are so different that in an ideal situation agriculture must get more social recognition and there must be a great share of the budget for this critical food segment.
A looming food crisis is predicted for the future of the world. There are issues within larger issues and so we have to create a widely shared public opinion as to the place of agriculture and food industry to share the resources in any enlightened agricultural and rural development policies.