The Dirty Mystery!
   Date :30-Nov-2019
The problem is because we, as a larger society, have stopped carrying that sense of shame when our farmers are dying, and our villages are emptying out at a terrible speed.
“India lives in villages”.
- Mahatma Gandhi
TRUE! But the villagers do not want to live in villages. They are making a beeline to the cities, or the nearest bigger towns, to make a living. So, even if we may not dare the Mahatma’s observation that India lives in villages, countless lakhs of Indians wish to move out of the villages and make living elsewhere -- anywhere but in the villages. That is so because the villages do not offer the people good enough sustenance -- to live well and live honourably.
 

 
 
There may be several reasons why this may be happening over the past several decades, which the thinkers have often pondered upon. But the dirtiest of the truths about why a massive exodus has continued to empty the villages out is that the farm sector does not fetch the farmers good living, marking a monumental failure of all those who ever occupied the seat of power since Independence -- without exception, without omission of the name of a single Prime Minister and his or her Government.
 
And unfortunately, to limit the discussion only to the Indian condition, there is no one in India who has even tried to find an answer to this dirty mystery -- of why the farmers are starving despite that the number of consumers of his produce -- food -- is increasing every passing day.
 
What kind of economics is this? -- that despite an ever-expanding consumer-base, the producer is starving!
This is an outright shame on all of us, and mostly on the planners who paid nothing more than cosmetic lip service to the cause but never felt the pang of pain when the farmers committed suicides in growing numbers and starved in still bigger numbers.
 
Pure, unmitigated shame! -- to say the least!
Pure and unmitigated insult of the man who tills the soil and nurses the society to health!
And the worst part of this dirty mystery is that no one wants to find an effective answer. No one really knows why the farmer is dying when the country’s godowns are overflowing with what he produces. And the reason is simple: Nobody has ever tried in utmost, unquestionable sincerity to understand why the farmer is dying when the numbers of consumers of his produce are growing every day.
 
The people in politics are no good for this cause -- thanks to their fundamental insincerity, their core philosophy of doing everything only for votes and not doing anything that is beyond votes, beyond political gains.
Nobody in politics will ever appreciate such an observation. But does anybody in any field (let alone politics) really have a clue as to what could be and should be done to mitigate the hopeless condition of the farmers, and to improve the standards of living in the villages so that India will start living in the villages once again?
 
The solution to the problem is in seeking an answer to this question. The solution to the problem is in trying to know the details of Mahatmaji’s thinking on villages and the rural sector in particular and general.
 
Of course, we do have a scattering of good examples of how villages can be managed well -- a Chhavi Rajawat leading a Rajasthan village to glory, a Popatrao Pawar creating history in his small village in Maharashtra, a Bhaskarrao Pere Patil becoming a village leader having given his folks a life of prosperity ...!
 
Many more examples of great leadership transforming villages into wonderful havens of happiness on this otherwise wretched rural sector.
Yet, all those examples still get noted in the category of tokens, symbols, and exceptions, by contrast proving that the rule is terrible, proving the norm of larger neglect at the hands of the Government and the people that form the larger Indian society (that nurses itself on what the farmer produces).
Are we going to prove the Mahatma wrong? Are we going to continue messing up with our farm sector? Are we going to ignore this most significant sector of the economy?
But then, in tune with this range of issues, there are a few other questions as well, to be asked. And the most important among those questions is: How many industrialists commit suicide when their industries close down for whatever reasons? It is here that a spectacle needs to be presented for deep thinking:
A few days ago, at a Diwali Milan programme organised by an industry association, dozens of shockingly expensive cars lined up the street outside a starred hotel in a big city. Inside the hotel was a collection of industrialists with more than 50% units having been closed down already. How does one explain those expensive cars and their shockingly rich ways and means? If so many factories are closing down almost on a regular basis across the country’s industrial spectrum, how can the people whose units stand closed down can continue moving in expensive cars and living in palatial mansions?
And, why is it that increasing numbers of farmers are committing suicide almost as a rule?
Obviously, we apply different standards of economic management to industry and agriculture.
And that is a shame -- on all of us!
Yes, all of us must carry a sense of shame in our heads and hearts, straight to our homes and hearths!
The problem is because we, as a larger society, have stopped carrying that sense of shame when our farmers are dying, and our villages are emptying out at a terrible speed.
Actually, the answer to this dirty mystery of why this may be happening, lies in our lack of sense of shame -- on ourselves, and our compromised values. For, we have stopped taking the farmers as our brothers.
And if this thought is blasphemous, may it be! It is the moment’s need!