The Dispensable Farmer

04/05/2015 9:56 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
A tribal man whose land is being acquired by government participates in a protest with others against the proposed bills to amend land acquisition and rehabilitation laws, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, July 23, 2009. (AP Photo/ Manish Swarup)

- Today, another 46 farmers have committed suicide across India. But it is OK. We would be reacting if they had been killed by Pakistanis or by terrorists. These deaths happen because of us, our collective apathy, our own leaders and administration, our thick skins. It is OK.

- It is Ok that a part of India live as if they are in concentration camps. They fight to survive each day, starve, barely have a morsel to eat, children are thrown out of their homes, snatch food from others' plate each day. As long as we are not in that concentration camp, it is OK if they kill each other to survive.

- It is OK if farmers are at the mercy of moneylenders. We need BIFR packages for industry. Industrial growth is important. It is OK if a few children are forced into bonded labour to repay debts incurred by their dead parents. On for another corporate restructuring package. It is OK.

farmer india

- Farmers are cowards and by committing suicide, they are criminals too. They are not as courageous as our soldiers or hardworking as our majdoor. It is OK if we are a few farmers less.

- It is Ok to say India's problems are electoral politics. As long as 'genuine' lobby groups, fighting for industrial growth, GDP and making India a world super power are not derailed, it is OK. No blame should go to corporate lobbies. It is a different matter that if a voter was so powerful, farmers would be the first to be protected.

- It is OK to solve testimonial stories playing out in the media and provide succour. It is OK not to address the root of the problem. Testimonial solutions score brownie points like no other. It is a different matter that each farmer suicide has a story, a tragedy and a struggle for survival. But then, they are cowards and criminals and it is OK if their plight doesn't bother us.

- It is OK to invest in bullet trains, infrastructure, flyovers, airports. It is OK and easier to invest in building perception than changing reality.

- It is OK to invest in Rafale and naval destroyers than invest in irrigation facilities. It is more important to defend ourselves from external enemies. It is OK to be killed by fellow countrymen than by a Pakistani. It is OK.

- It is OK if you have the right intent. After all, as a country, we never ever had leaders with the right intent before. Everything else can be solved through speeches and preachings. It is OK to solve today's problems in a few years/decades as long as we cite the past as an example.

- It is OK to address the FII problem about MAT with the urgency it deserves. Farmers can wait.

- It is OK not to treat agrarian reforms as a crisis looming over us. No lobbies. No pressure groups. A few farmers killing themselves. It is OK.

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