political stir

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Jun 2018 12:16:41

THE events in the past four days of the so-called farmers’ agitation make it clear that it is a stir run not by farmers but by some political elements that are being sponsored by bigger vested interests particularly in the pre-election year. Reports coming from various centres have us believe that farmers, the actual producers of agricultural goods including milk are fairly disturbed that their produce is being wasted by throwing it on the roads and down the drains. The images of milk and vegetables being thrown to the ground have disturbed the farmers who clashed with the protesters at several places across the country. This emerging reality cannot be lost sight of as we look for a solution to the agrarian crisis now haunting the country. 

It must be noted with emphasis that the agrarian crisis is not the product of the past four years of the Narendra Modi regime. No matter the political propaganda against the Prime Minister or the National Democratic Alliance Government, the reality is that the agrarian crisis that everybody is talking about has been haunting the nation for the past forty-plus years, thanks to the indifferent approach of the Government and the planners to one of the most critical segments of the national economy. We must recall that it was more than forty years ago that farmers’ leaders like (the late) Mr. Sharad Joshi and Mr. Mahendra Singh Tikait led massive farmers’ agitations across the country to bring to fore the genuine issues the country’s agricultural sector faced. Since those early days, there were never any serious efforts to sort out the genuine issues.

The only credible effort that was ever made to look deep into the crisis and seek a solution, was done by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi whose Government has done much more for the farmers in the four years in power than was ever done in the previous four decades. But as the next Lok Sabha elections draw near, political Opposition has got overly active to mount a cynical campaign to prove the Government as a non-functional entity. The so-called farmers’ stir is part of that campaign, as is clear from the clashes and hostilities between the farmers and the protesters being reported from various places across the Indian landscape. The farmers just hate their produce being wasted in such a brazen manner. Hence their antagonism.

Unless this reality is understood, the common people would never know that the current stir is nothing but a politically-driven effort to malign the Government.
It is most unfortunate that a segment as important as farmers is being used as a political tool without any heed to the actual issues that rural India faces by way of problems in agriculture. The nation does not need politics to bring to fore the farmers’ issues. It needs a systematic and planned effort as part of an overall national developmental agenda. The protesters might be attracting media attention to their stir by throwing farm produce to the ground, but they are deliberately missing the actual point that needs an immediate as well as long-term consideration. Unfortunately, the media has never even tried to understand this reality.

The actual need of the hour, thus, is that all stakeholders sit together to take a deep look at the current agrarian crisis and seek a long-term solution. The real issue is something altogether different: When rural population is leaving villages and taking resort to cities for livelihood, the rural economy gets affected. So, the first challenge before the nation -- not just before the Government -- is to stop the outflow of rural population in favour of life in cities. That can be done by making rural living attractive enough so that the people stick to villages. If such an approach is taken, a possible solution to agrarian crisis may be found.