FARMER SUICIDES AND POLITICAL APATHY

Agriculture employs some 55% (54.6% exactly) of the people of India but over the years, its share in the national GDP has reduced. As of now, it contributes just 14% to the GDP.

So, even if the GDP has expanded and India is slated to become the third largest economy of the world soon, the share of expansion gone to agriculture has been less than what went to services and manufacturing.

Services, manufacturing and other trade related activities getting prominence over the agriculture – that was bound to happen in an economy advancing to enlarge itself.

And so, it was expected from the policymakers that they would do something about it.

But they didn’t have any answer to this expectation. And over the years, the sensitivity with which they looked at the problem gave way to apathy.

Results – tens of thousands of cases of farmer suicides each year – in official records (say National Crime Records Bureau) – irrespective of which political group was at the helms of affair!

Think of the unofficial estimates! Sure to outdo the official figures.

And the trend has continued over the years.

With increasing insensitivity of the political establishments and total apathy of the governments!

So much so, that debate now has elements like ‘why to become a farmer when it is economically suicidal’ to ‘small Vs big farmers’.

75% farmers have land-holdings up to 1 hectare only. 10% farmers have holdings of 1-2 hectare while just 0.24% farmers have land-holdings above 10 hectare. And these are official figures, drawn from a report of the National Sample Survey Organization.

So, the smallest land-owners form the largest chunk and they have to be ready to bear all the anomalies and brutalities – man-made and natural.

Even in normal course, their expenditures outdo the earnings. So, think of the times when nature plays the villain and when the man acts apathetic.

We cannot do anything with the nature even if this is partly political – at least, not in the short term.

But when we have to say the same thing about the ‘men acting apathetic/insensitive’, it is outrightly humiliating – because that is totally political.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

POLITICS OVER A DEATH, ONCE AGAIN

Irrespective of his background and his intention, everyone is to share the blame for his death.

But, as expected, his death has become a full blown political matter.

Every political party is trying to sound sympathetic to the cause of the farmer and blaming the others for it.

We are remembering the farming community, once again, a community that employs maximum number of people in India. The ‘tears’ are being shed. Probes are being launched. It seems a solution will be reached that will be acceptable to the central party, the farmers, and all other stakeholders.

Society, polity – all are involved in this blamegame over a death in public – of a man who happened to be a farmer. Unseasonal rains created havoc for him. His standing crop was destroyed and he had no other mean as his father had ousted him. He had no other mean left but to commit suicide as no government compensation ever reached to him, as the alleged suicide note from his said.

And he hanged himself in full public view yesterday.

A newly formed political party, that is at the helms of the affair of Delhi, chose to speak and disband the rally, not to rush to save him. Its leader did not visit the hospital later (as spoken from the stage there) after he came to know that he was brought dead. Rahul Gandhi and Ajay Maken visited the hospital to express his condolences and expressed his solidarity. Offices of Delhi CM and HMO issued statements. Blames and counterblames began. As expected, ugly politics began.

After all, a farmer had died, in the Indian capital, in full public view, during the rally of the Aam Aadmi Party.

Today, it swept both Houses of Parliament. Rajya Sabha that began today and Lok Sabha that resumed its session on April 20, could not find, so far, any other issue to debate. All parties spoke, trying to squeeze in maximum politics. HM spoke. PM spoke. Leaders of Opposition in both Houses spoke. The AAP continue to defend it shamefully. Delhi Police continue to be defended in spite of all the odds.

Politics and what else!

Farmers are dying in the country, for decades, irrespective of the government in the office. Every government has failed to check the issue so far. Every party has shown the lack of initiative so far.

And we all are to share the blame.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/