Agriculture in the time of Corona Virus and at a time of tough states’ elections.
Yes, the world is facing a very difficult time now. There is this historical Corono Virus pandemic and yes India is the most affected country right now. How the world would overcome this crisis is anybody’s guess?
To look at Indian agriculture in this situation of many complexities is not a happy exercise. As it is the government machinery is stuck and nothing seems to be moving and as we write it looks only the judiciary seems to be running the show. Every city is panic-struck and we don’t know when we will get the call for our second vaccination! The supply of oxygen is so uncertain and erratic that we see the daily queues seem unending. And the scenes on the TV screens are unbearable. So is the misery of the common man, the poor and the people at the bottom end of society.
In this scenario the one sector that is hard hit is of course the unsolved agriculture sector where the miseries of the long suffering farmers who are concentrated for how many months, we don’t know is indescribable. How long the farmers would be left abandoned by the government no one has clue. There is any number of reports from any number of international bodies we have lost count and they all paid a picture of total abandonment of the poor and the hungry. Two or three international reports, including one or two by the international agency, we believe the UN ones included that say that some 30 million and more people would be left to survive on poverty levels below two dollars a day and such scary reports have by now multiplied in this Corono Virus times. It is really very scary and no one of any consequence from the UN bodies cares to pursue this emerging poverty mountain any further.
Of course we all know that among the poverty mountains India looms large as we have the largest population mountain and poverty and India go together and when we don’t have any close to the exact data from China — it is one big nation with a modicum of exact data and so we leave at this point the gigantic level of solving the Indian poverty index.
One distressing point is the level of political governance in India. Mr.Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister was for the most part of his time in power. Was very vocal and confident in solving great many issues, the last state level elections in five crucial states saw his party, the Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP) ride rough shod on Opposition —ruled States, now there seems to be set back for the PM as he saw his herculean attempts to defeat the most enlightened. State, West Bengal, one of the culturally enlightened State which didn’t oblige his rhetoric and otherwise very powerfully organised campaign didn’t produce the desired results. The West Bengal state Assembly elections gave a very unpleasant shock to the powerful “Bullymen”, as one major newspaper described the highly organised ruling party leaders. The otherwise diminutive Mamata Banerji, as the incumbant Chief Minister is called, otherwise endearingly a Mamata Di (Di means sister and she had her life’s revenge by defeating this one of the modern India’s bloody and violent democratic country’s election results).
Bengal has many issues of national and international implications. The State had produced two famed Nobel Prizes, one if won by the State’s International personalities, none other than Prof.S. Amartya Sen who is rooted in the Bengali culture and who also represents the deep Bengali intellectual types, well-versed in Bengali language, literature and Sanskrit learning etc.
He was nominated as the new Chancellor and intellectual guided to the Central Government’s newly created Nalanda University sponsored by the Indian External Affairs Ministry. The idea had a great significance for the Indian people. But the new Government of the BJP removed Prof.Sen because of the intellectual’s unkind remark on the new BJP government.
So, now in the present more complicated times while Corona is threatening the whole country, not many people are happy with the current scenario.
In the current election there were many gifted persons nominated for election contest. Some were elected and many others defeated politicians, singers, artists and film people even pure intellectuals.
Most of them had won but few had been defeated. The Hindutva philosophy of religion had you off many voters. Anyway, Mamata Di had proved that India won’t easily fall for the rightwing party. As in other state like the Southern ally, Kerala too had proved. Otherwise, the progressive States like West Bengal and Kerala are in fact industrially backward and unemployment is high. But then the streak of liberalism is fairly widespread and this is a gift of the Nehruvian era.
How the agri sector in the rest of India would fit into this scenario is anybody’s guess.
Scenario and with all predictions of poverty rising in the world, Indian agriculture, a predominantly rained economic activity, India is self-sufficient in food production and India is a number one agri exporter in rice and wheat.
Indian agriculture needs much investment and modernisation practices.