Sushanto Ghosh, Hitta, Abdul Zameer Pasha, Kollegal, Bhootnath Pal, Kouri
Heard of these words, or seem like some gibberish!
Humanity continues to have unaccounted countless assassinations. Hinterland continues to bleed.
These are some of the farmers who committed suicide recently and the places associated with them. If at all, you have been able to correlate with the related reports in the mainstream media, can you recall the frequency? If you could recall any debate based show on farmer suicides in the recent past, please share with me.
The ongoing assembly elections in five states are being seen as ‘mini’ General Elections but I didn’t come across any political party talking sense on creating conditions where the farming community could have a sustainable livelihood. Instead, they are promising absurdities like free laptops in a country where outage is a big, big problem.
Sushanto Ghosh, a peasant in Burdwan, was not able to repay the Rs 2 Lakh agricultural loan. He was not able to get enough for his paddy so was not able to recover the cost.
Abdul Zameer Pasha, a peasant in Karnataka’s Chamrajnagar District, had taken loan from moneylenders. Continued harassment by the moneylenders, as he was not able to repay his debt, forced him to commit suicide before he poisoned his wife, two daughters and a son.
Bhootnath Pal, again a Burdwan peasant, committed suicide as he was not able to repay the loan he had taken.
It is happening in a country where the incumbent government rode back into the seat of power by promising windfall debt waiver to the farmers running into thousands of crores. Continued cases of farmers’’ suicide tell us how lame was the thinking behind the measure taken in 2008. How long would we be subjected to the reckless politicking aimed at impulsive electoral mileage.
Reports say over 25 farmers have committed suicide in West Bengal in last few weeks though our iron lady is denying it in her own fiery manner.
Reports say four cotton growing farmers have committed suicide in Yavatmal in recent days. Would you like to hear what the district administration officials are saying on it? I quote some lines on the web edition of CNN-IBN. It says, “Four cotton growers here committed suicide in the last three days as the local administration stopping relief aid to crisis-ridden farmers because of the code of conduct in place for coming local bodies elections, a local organisation fighting for farmers' cause alleged on Saturday (January 28).”
Now it is the nadir that the governance practices can stoop to and such acts simply tell how insignificant are the farmers, who collectively, irrespective of religion and caste, form the largest chunk of the professional activity, and hence the largest vote bank in India.
Since this vote bank is basically of small landowners or landless farmers with poor educational and social parameters, they are amongst the most prone to be manipulated; and they are manipulated.
According to some analytic figures, approximately a quarter-million farmers in India have committed suicide in the last 16 years, a period during which India has seen sustained economy growth figures. In-spite of the huge debt waiver scheme of 2008, 17,368 farmers committed suicide in 2009.
Such paradoxes show that the very Basics, on which the governance practices of the farm policies are implemented, are not in-sync with the inter-relation dynamics of the ‘input-output’ modalities.
Farmers are pushed to the fringes and we lack serious and broad-vision plans to bring them to the mainstream. (Agreed there are some well to do, but do we count exceptions while forming policies for a large segment of the population?)
Where are the welfare economists of India?