How long this state of affairs to prolong?
Surely, there must be a way out!
Agriculture and farmers’ lives are so precious!
The country and political leadership owe the people this much of sensitivity and moral burden!
The Prime Minister’s 75th edition of Mann ki Bath has come timely as this edition deals with the PM’s concern for the farmers’ welfare and the PM specifically deals with the problems of farmers. The PM calls for the modernization of farming in the country and he expresses his view that farming in India needs to be modernized as the Agri sector is so critical for Indian economic strength and raising of farmers’ incomes. The PM pointedly calls attention of farmers in Banaskantha in Gujarat and Yamuna Nagar in Haryana where beekeeping has spread so fast and sly and it has helped to raise farmers’ income in these regions. It is so nice to see the PM’s reference to the farmers’ problems and let us hope the PM’s reference will take him further to the needs for farmer issues.
There are many daily happenings like the one just before the PM’s speech that one BJP M.P, one Narang went to meet the agitating farmers and as per reports, the voting MP was hit and there was some further flare-up, likely.
But the pity is the PM’s almost day-to-day discourses touch many issues of critical importance, there is no reference to the development as the media is also likely to shy away from this messy state of affairs. Agriculture is, to say the leastwise an unglamorous fields and there is not much money to make in this very uncertain field.
The governments elk of farming and farmers only when the rains fail or when there is a food shortage. By the way, the rains have been good this year so far there is likely to be enough run water in the reservoirs the farmers are likely to face much more indifference as there are reports that food production is going to be enough to face the internal needs at least and the government seems to be very stubborn in sticking to it. Sort of rigid stand and three contentious laws on farmers issues are unlikely to be relaxed. We can’t guess the motives of the policymakers to stick to their own persistent rigidity. This magazine is published by a family that is engaged in actual farming and also in direct touch with farmers and villagers.
India, seen from the interiors of the villages, more so in the South’s still a poor country and the vast majority of the farmers are very poor compared, say with rural China, a visit to China would confirm India is at least 10 to 15 years backward. So, let Indians, more so the agricultural policymakers must realize that we have to approach farmers’ issues with a great deal of sympathy and open-mindedness.
To be born as a farmer in India, we like to repeat a curse the average life of a farmer is like a hell. The usual view of a rural farmer is either a debtor or a litigant. An Indian average farmer is never a free citizen. He is tied to the whims and fancies of petty bureaucrats and the Indian petty bureaucrat is conditioned to extract a small or big bribe depending on the circumstances. And given the current Indian political scenario as we write these lines there are a multiplicity of elections and the media carry a lot of juicy stories. Every day villagers are approached by the political parties every day to carry party banners and each one villager is paid either Rs.300 or even Rs.500 to carry either the party flag or other publicity material for some three or four hours. That is how the election campaigns are conducted and crowds are collected. For the visits of the heavyweight leaders who’ll use these days charted flights from Delhi to the end of the country till the Cape Camorin!
There are no more secrets about how the election funds are collected and the sources of the funds. Daily reports how much funds are collected these days are a plenty and people have started to speak out their anger and disappointment about the false promises and false freebies. From the PM to others who don’t have any hesitation about the lies and also the vulgar tongues displayed make one sick of the direction the elections are conducted, elections won and lost!
As for the election-eve promises to voters areas many falsehoods and also the language of the elations is no display of any educational value. It is all so vulgar and demeaning to public morality.
Among the many promises, one false promise stands out. That is about creating jobs for the rural youth. Creating employment opportunities. Is a widespread promise and yet what do we, the rural people find these days?
It is the scarcity of employment! We pay the male labor Rs.500 a day, for the five-hour job and for the female labor Rs.300 to Rs 400 sometimes. Yet there are not enough hands to go by. So the point is that farming is becoming un-remunerative and average Indian small farmers in deep debt!
So to lift Indian farming to a productive level is a complicated job. In conclusion, we like to please the government to give the Indian farmers the freedom to bargain with the policymakers to give the freedoms to negotiate and get all the concessions so that first and foremost farming becomes a profitable job.
Indian farming is small farmers-based. So, let us give the farmers what they bargain for. Let the government not stand on any adamant stand. This attitude is very sure to fail and might lead to further complications and chaos in the countryside.