The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Monday, 11 March 2013

MOUNTING FARM SUICIDES IN VIDARBHA – YET THE VOICES REMAIN AT PERIPHERY

Some media reports say the Maharashtra police have alerted its personnel to be ready to handle a possible water riots in the drought-hit regions of the state. Reportedly, the state is facing the worst drought in 60 years.

Headlines like ‘In drought-hit Maharashtra, young ‘brides’ have good resale value’, ‘Opposition geared up to grill government on mishandling of drought relief works, deteriorating finances’, ‘Maharashtra drought is man-made: Athavale’, ‘Maharashtra set to face worst drought ever’, ‘Maharashtra gets Rs 5.47 billion as drought relief’ are making in-roads in the newsrooms.

But given the response, it is clear that the voices continue to remain on the periphery.

Voices forced to remain at the periphery - it is indeed equally outrageous as the issue of continued farm suicides in India. Vidarbha of Maharashtra has had a history of crisis and it is one of the regions claiming high number of farmer suicides.


The Indian Parliament was informed by Mr. Sharad Pawar, the Agriculture Minister, on February 22, 2013 that during the period from April 2012 to January 2013, 228 Vidarbha farmers committed suicide due to ‘agrarian distress’. Though the minister went on to add that the state and the region had seen decline in suicide cases since 2006, the reported number of farmer suicides from the Vidarbha region since 2001, over 8400 cases, shadow it. These reported figures say the crisis is much deeper if we (and we must) take into account the unreported cases (or the cases which the administration has been successful in suppressing from being reported as farm suicides).

Farm suicides are a continued shame in and with them flows in tandem the meekness and insensitivity of the governments and the societies that include different categories of the pro- claimants.

A prime minister from Pakistan comes on a personal visit, or a US based institution cancels Narendra Modi’s keynote address or Vijender Singh, a boxer’s name figures in a drug-haul controversy, we all go in hyperbole (it doesn’t matter if with positive or negative intonations).

Everybody, who somehow, directly or indirectly, formulates or opinionates about policymaking (that affects the lives of the common men including the farmers, many of whom have committed suicides over the years), indulges in an intense chatter, that not even remotely asks for the weightage given.

See this. Mr. Pawar’s statement to the Parliament came on February 22. The present Vidarbha drought story goes many months back. But have we heard any intense activity on advocacy platforms (including the media) in the recent months that pressurises the governments and the other stakeholders involved to take war measures? NO!

Have we seen series of campaigns running across the cities and the regions to force the governments to do a policy-rethink on why the farm suicides still continue? NO!

Farmer suicides are the inhuman face of the Indian Democracy with many big states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh continue to claim over 60 per cent of the reported cases. There have been over a quarter-million farmer suicides in India since 1995. If any study can collate the figures since the Independence, we are bound to get more shocking and sickening set of data. What is happening in Vidarbha has been happening in India for decades, yet, no decisive (that should have been taken decades ago) action has been taken by the successive governments.

There are activists who are fighting hard. They regularly come up with campaigns and studies but their voices remain at the periphery. The absence of concern in media over the mounting cases of farm suicides in Vidarbha is just the repetition of the irresponsible social responsibility of the larger cross-section of the Indian media.

Except few names in media like P Sainath, The Hindu or NDTV, no one else bothers much about this man-made atrocity on human lives.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/