And for a Friday – the world is a global village – Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau just won elections and needs Indian Origin Canadian Sikhs support and in India, the so called “striking farmers” are now into a year long WFA, some thoughts..… some musings…..
Unbelievable – in which profession or which business activity or what Trade Union, can you be away from work for more than a year and still be economically, socially and psychologically feeling righteous. This spectacle of a “Farmers strike” in one location near the National Capital is the biggest farce by a group of well heeled super rich farmers donning the farcical face of the poor and marginalised Indian farmer. Our politicians, Babus and most urban journalists and media have little or no knowledge of the core issues involved. India in the fifties had Agriculture sector contributing 54% of the GDP and today it’s less than 18%. But with more than 53% of the Indian population engaged in farming, with a per capita land holding less than 1.08 hectares (in Bihar it’s a dismal 0.6 hectares), my sympathies are with the small and marginal farmers. Farm reforms, upskilling and providing better connectivity to the 6 lakh Indian villages is the only answer. The poor farmers need technology, need financial and managerial support. With digitilisation and modern technology, India has the capability to lift these marginalised out of poverty. That potential must be tapped. The corrupt goons cannot be allowed to hold the country to ransom.
The striking farmers are only from Punjab, Haryana and parts of Western UP – all 100% irrigated, free water, free electricity, subsidised fertilisers and almost 100% assured produce price. These rich farmers are getting richer and lobbying to maintain the status quo. The voiceless and hard working exploited marginal farmer, the real suffering farmers be damned. Food Corporation buys wheat and paddy every year for more than 80,000 crores from Punjab alone, all financed by the honest tax payers money. Most of the procured grains are lost, stolen or rotting in large and open godowns. Imagine, in these irrigated tracks, water is brought thru canals at huge costs to the exchequer. One kg of rice consumes more than 5000 litres of water. These irrigated belts should not grow paddy anymore. Instead, must cultivate high value fruits orchards and value added export oriented crops.
In these globally realigning times, with China breathing down our necks, India has to strengthen its economy, the farm reforms way, the Agri sector way, the SEEGOS way.