What a profound statement. It was made by one of my fellow activists, during the discussions about the issue of relentless farmer suicides in India. The issue about lakhs of farmers committing suicide in India is not an issue at all to a lot many of us living in the urban regions;
Courtesy: Our own apathy, media’s negligence and not to forget the Government itself.
Apathy from our side
Individualism when applied at the levels of preserving one’s ideas and seeing them fulfill is acceptable. But, when apathy is given sanctity in the name of individualism, like the current scenarios of the urban population in India, and other tending towards development countries is a matter of grave concern.
Humanity is a term that is losing its sense amidst today’s humans.
Getting one point better, but still of no use are the ones who are emphatic about the issues, but are deeply reluctant, blaming the corrupt and supposedly unalterable system. This is nothing more than a lame excuse. If we are really concerned about the things, there are lot many things still within our control to be changed. We can still have ‘hope’ about the change, for, there have been instances very recently reinstating the ‘power of people’ in countries like Egypt and rest of Middle East. If it can happen there at that scale, why can’t it in India: The world’s ‘largest democracy’, or that is what we would like to call ourselves.
Simply put, it all boils down to our apathy, which has been masqueraded in the name of corruption, individualism, lack of time, and other invalid excuses.
Media and the bias
A single Decision Review System outcome which goes against India’s favor in cricket, gets a full page coverage in most of the widely read newspapers and one full hour discussion with relevant panelists at prime time on National TV News channels;
When a star couple gets engaged or they break up we have loads of animal filth-like content spewed and spilled all over the media!
P Sainath, one sensible reporter of the very few remaining, says, It is not because the people want to feed on such filth that the media feeds them with garbage, but, it is because these powerful houses now have the ability to direct the kind of news the audience would want to chew upon.
Adding to his point, because garbage is cheap to produce, and today’s media sells it profitably, we get to hear news full of futilities.
When this is the mantra of the media, the so called fourth pillar of democracy is doing nothing but drilling deeper holes into the democracy, by diverting all the necessary attention to the wrong things.
So, where will we get to hear about the unimportant farmers, who wouldn’t know what Page3 parties are! Who cares if they are committing suicides or not. Even if they did, now it is stale news, for they’ve been doing it for more than a decade now!
Look at the state of affairs! We are contemplating the death of people, in terms of news readership and TRP.
It might seem like an exaggeration, but I think otherwise, when I say,
We have come to be worse than some of the gravest tyrants who have painted the History with blood.
Government and its mis-interests
In six years from 2005-06, the Government of India wrote off corporate income tax worth Rs.3,74,937 crore!*
Whereas, the same Government’s policies are making the conditions adverse for the vast weaker section of the population to just survive. Farmers committing suicides for more than a decade, and the number going upwards, with a number of more than 2.5 lakhs in India today. So, it might not be a mere coincidence, or lack of mental strength that these many farmers have committed suicides abandoning their families. It is a more vicious ploy and a consequence of the Government Policies. Although, they can deny and defy it, the facts and policies are crystal clear – Anti poor and pro extreme rich.
India has become the metaphor to the cliché: Rich get richer, and poor get poorer. Now, one step ahead, the poorest now go on and die.
Simply, because it has become unlivable in circumstances such as the ones in India today.
Just think! If these many ‘farmers’, in a country which still boasts of more than 60% of population in agriculture is letting its farmers die, where is any sense to it. It has been on for more than a decade, and what has the Government’s done to stop and prevent it. Nothing!
It only talks of compensation after the deaths, and sometimes this compensation becomes an incentive to few poor souls to trade their lives for.
An Economist politician as the Prime Minister and the best intellect in the cabinet ( supposedly), and a grim situation is getting grimmer. Crisis after crisis, and they go onto serve the richest (< 2% of Indian Population), ignoring the poorest (>40% of the Population). There is no accountability in the Government; They blame opposition parties and coalition politics while the hands that feed the country are taking their own lives.
This post by me is again, going to be a futile attempt, for, the ones who don’t care would have stopped reading once they would have arrived at the context of it. But, if you have who had the little sense to read until here, then join us and be part of a small effort, in which we are trying to raise our voice and make it heard for the sake of the ‘people’ who toil to feed us, in exchange for nothing more than their mere survival.
A candle light vigil is being organized in Town Hall, Bangalore on the 26th of March, 2011 at 5 PM.
Be there. Tell us if you want to do anything about this. Visit our wikispaces –http://farmer-suicide-and-it.wikispaces.com/, mobilze people, create awareness and who knows we might be able to help out a few who are in much need of our help.
We cannot eat the hands which feed us, and let us also not make those hands to kill themselves.
Raise your voice to Stop Farmer Suicides!