Thursday, 1 December 2011

Build a selective barrier between Government and Ryots

The following is an article published in THE HINDU, a daily and I thought of adding few comments to the farmer's continuous questions, which has been asked for decades on which the country raiders (government) don't have any hearing. We need a real alternative to save peasants. 
Break the barriers between researchers and ryots
For a farmer, the field is office and a good crop means a rewarding salary. “If he manages to get a little extra then he considers it as a bonus. In a country, where agriculture is supposed to be thousands of years old, isn’t it an irony that a majority of its farmers are not happy financially,” says Mr. P. Jayaram, a progressive farmer in Bangalore growing grapes, tomato, vegetables and mulberry in 15 acres. Who is to be blamed for the present crises?
                Core reason: British are to blame. They were the one who have dismantled the village economy by bringing in the exploitative agriculture based on cotton, indigo, saltpetre, tobacco, tea, coffee and rice exports.

Accountability is a must
“There is no use in passing the buck. Accountability is a must, Of what use are all the financial schemes and bank loans, all claiming to be in the farmers’ interest?
“Most of these are only on paper. Do you know the difficulty in getting a Rs.10,000 small-crop loan from a bank? Ask a farmer and he will tell you. And today we are able to buy a Rs. 5 lakh car in a few hours over the phone. Is this a healthy economy?” he asks.
“I am not disputing the fact that the facilities and comforts are today a necessity, but in the name of new luxuries, farmers and agriculture should not be bartered,” he contends.
“Agriculture” is bartered i.e. the peasant farmers living in a village. Agriproduction is welcomed by the credit institutions. The economic system is capital centric. If a crop (Take example of Vanilla, Tea, Coffee, Sugarcane, cutflowers or any commercial crops, food processing) is economically yielding those farmers get crores of Rupees. I know a friend who works in a private bank didn’t want to risk with small farmers rather giving loans to few capital and creditworthy paddy processors than peasant paddy growers. The peasant farmers who stick to the staple food production were only bartered. Peasant farming is survival case for farmers. Banks are not charity institutions to lend the peasants. They will red carpet the non-food growers, borewell business, sand mining business and all sorts of businesses which destroys peasant farming resources. Gov’t has no understanding and this post independence gov’t is the middleman between illegal corporate and “85% land owning peasants”.

Role of media
India being an agrarian country, it is the duty of journalists to identify and suggest solutions to burning problems of villages, instead of only reporting on deaths and suicides, Mr. Jayaram argues, calling on the media to be proactive in this.
A journalist’s report must be like a platform to record, show, inform the society about farming experiences in villages, and their traditional methods of conserving land, water etc. According to him, though farmers are true scholars in their area, in reality they are not treated so.
Journalism in agriculture needs lot of regional and local understanding. Unfortunately it is the fundamental lacking point in the government system. Then how come the media would address the farmers issue. In India, the media don’t had original thinking and expressions since independence. It failed to fight the under understanding and misunderstanding policies of the nehruvian model.
“Often the brick compound wall and wire fences erected around agriculture research centres keep them away from approaching these places.
“Being shy and reserved by nature, a farmer naturally gets flabbergasted by the security at the gate and the protocols involved in such centres,” he says.
“Till date I have never heard or seen any instance where a farmer treats his guests anything but cordially. But the same farmer seldom receives the same courtesy in agricultural offices or research centres he visits.”
Securities were not five star hotel employees and researchers are not extension or consulting officer to receive the farmers cordially and hear his queries. But the AOs in the gov’t system, they are and they must.  For that they should be from local area and they should be consulted by the IAS officers in the top hierarchy for bringing policy decisions. Most of the AOs have interests to help farmers, but the misunderstood and malfunctioning top level administration will always destroy interests of grassroot extension officials. Brainless IAS officers and the backboneless politicians were to blame.

Not be a barrier
“Such a treatment of the farmers is not acceptable. The high walls of the research centres should be limited to safeguard the privacy of research, and must not become a barrier between the minds of the researchers and the farmers,” explains Mr. Jayaram. In fact it is their knowledge and skills that should be sought after by those in agricultural varsities. Scientific farming should evolve involving “true scholars” – the farmers, according to him. The fact to be noted here is that though the famine or flood does not seem to affect a politician a beauraucrat or businessman - it is only the farmer who endures the loss and suffers.
I never accept the scientific farming. It is scientific production. Farming is a history. Today, we have ultra modern scientists who compartmentalize the farming research and fail to think coherently to move further. Thatswhy the mainstreams disciplines like of so called scientific farming marches in different directions.

Needs money
“Have you ever heard about a person from any other profession committing suicide due to crop failure,” he asks.
Seeds, fertilizers, insecticides etc. do not come free of cost. Even such a basic profession as farming needs money.
And the farmer needs financial assistance. Drawn by the several advertisements, that endorse these financial institutions, a farmer buys the seeds and sows it with hopes of high yields.
“When he fails to get a good yield the company that supplied the seeds does not take any reponsibility, and the agriculture experts keep tight lipped. This is the case prevailing in many villages,” asserts Mr. Jayaram.
Guinnie pigs are only for tests. But unfortunately, here they are also for the businesses.

Indirect support
By lowering the rate of interests time and again, the government too indirectly encourages them to take such financial assistance, making them lifelong debtors.
The hope of a getting a good yield remains just a dream for a poor farmer.
For more details readers can contact Mr. P. Jayaram, Byrdhenahalli, Devanahalli taluk, Bangalore rural, mobile: 09740963352 and 09591527526.
Government is misgoverned. It will lost until it gets separated from the export oriented exploitative agriculture.
Land is important and its important that how you use the land. The current government system has no clue or understanding about the traditional system managing the land. Next generation has already turned in to economic, cultural and environmental refugees due to the wrong temptation, education and resource management. Its is time for the proactive, truthful scientists and the traditional farm folks who haven't lost their traditional land governance knowledge to wakeup and make checks wherever necessary  to  stop government in spoiling the system and reclaim the local administrative system. 

Thank you M.J.Prabhu, THE HINDU


  1. I dont accept to just KEEP criticizing on British. They left the land, its been over 6 decades but still we are in this situation means we are the responsible persons. But again they are entering in the name of cruel policies like FDI even in retail market, which will push us back to coloniel period not a single step ahead.

  2. We (especially Tamils) lost our mental stamina and become sluggish. We are slowly getting uprooted. We keep criticizing, it may also because of more uprooted (migrants) population in every town and cities.

  3. I second Raja that its of no use criticizing the British. We collectively as Indians have excelled in what the British left behind or started. Criticism is good as long as it helps in the advancement of a profession. But to date there has been not many factual criticisms on policies and planning issues. Emotional criticism is what is driving this country now and most such writings come from the educated class. Infact education is used to show case more of emotions now-a-days rather rather than objectivity. Such decisions with emotional backgrounds will only benefit a few people centered around that decision and pull the rest deeper down into the drain.

  4. I don't think that the decision made in the government were emotional ones, rather they were made by stupids and visionless researchers i.e. IAS officers. The don't have comprehensive understanding about a problem. Good example is land tenuring system and the panchayat administration system. The real panchayat system was abolished and a new "constitutional" version of panchayat is under administration, which is totally a continuty of british idea. My longing and question is, how to break the stupidity of those people? How to make the bureaucrats to think in with local mind?

  5. I dont understand the self-dejecting attitudes of the indians..

    Their golden words - "there is no use in criticising British".. as though, criticising others has immense use...!!!!

    Is there any use in any kind of criticism ? Nothing.. then why do people criticise? To fix the root cause.. to identify the reason..

    There is no use in blaming britishers.. but the root cause has to be identified..

  6. "rather they were made by stupids and visionless researchers i.e. IAS officers"- This is criticism. What use does this have or what is Mr.Sustainer trying to convey to the reader through this statement? Such statements in the present day conditions are normal and natural. They are emotions and just reflects an individual's personal likes or dislikes. This is what is selling today! But the same criticism when stated with facts becomes a learned opinion that could help draw attention from others in the right direction. Such writing will help in identifying the root cause. So criticism cannot be rejected by saying that there is no use in it.

  7. The subject is getting diverted here. Emotions were the barrier for neutral thought process. The stupidity and visionlessness of the IAS cadre and the scientists have to be accepted, which have to told little pungently to emphasize our subsequent suggestions.

    In Public, emotions will initiate the thought process of the public. Inside the scientific community it is not needed. But the problem here is that the public catch the emotions and the thought process is lacking. Its again because of lack of thoughtful media thinking, dynamic leadership and governance.

  8. Sathya,

    Emotions cannot be kept away.. but you have to see the core message.. The core message is that the officers at the ground level are willing to do something, whereas the officers at the top are either ignorant, or idiot or willingly lethargic, controlling everything..

  9. Two contradicting statements here Mr.Sustainer:

    1."Emotions were the barrier for neutral thought process"

    2."emotions will initiate the thought process of the public"

    3."But the problem here is that the public catch the emotions and the thought process is lacking"

    See this is what happens with emotions.

    This is not deviating from the topic under discussion. First let us agree that such writings are a curse for readers today. They donot inform people in anything factually. They are an individual's opinion. Every reader should given substantial information and educated opinions have to be formed individually based on the reader's perception of that idea or information on.
    So instead of saying abruptly that there are lacunas, please start writing about them by giving substantial evidence in the form of examples (That X policy as formulated, it didnot work due to the reasons a,b,c... and still we are following a policy Y derived out X and what kind of disadvantages they have and how that policy has to be changed and what will be the benefits if they are changed). This need not be scientific writing. Such initiatives will educate a commoner and give him the right platform to form his/her opinions.

  10. Inquiring Mind:

    I do accept that Emotions cannot be completely kept away. But they are not going to help you in anyway. They just make you more and more subjective and in the process only the individual's like or dislikes come out. So instead of talking about the willingness/unwillingness to work, lets assess what is that which doesn't allow these willing junior level workers to overcome the hierarchy. Again dont blame the higher authorities. Look at what rules and regulation can they do their duty. What are the hindrances that these rules pose? What kind of documentations will make them stand valid before their higher officials and say that they have done everything under thier discretion without going against the law. These are internal problems that these Junior level officers should address as their greiviences and bring out a change. If they stand united with one objective without giving a role to emotions they can bring a great change. Only thing they need is the will to do that.

  11. 1."Emotions were the barrier for neutral thought process" - Yes, its for Scientists and parallel intellectuals.

    2."emotions will initiate the thought process of the public" - I strongly say for public, emotions are they way to make them to work. But it is the skill of the administrators to control the emotions of the people which they have initiated. Thats why people mostly fail to control the chaos after the revolution.

    3."But the problem here is that the public catch the emotions and the thought process is lacking"

    I have substantiated that the lack of thoughtful media thinking, dynamic leadership and governance lead to such outburst of emotions. Emotions is need to be controlled. Its the duty of the good administrators.

    First, you have to smoke until the fire catches. Once the fire catches, you have to control it for your utility otherwise it will burn everything.

  12. Look at what rules and regulation can they do their duty. What are the hindrances that these rules pose? What kind of documentations will make them stand valid before their higher officials and say that they have done everything under thier discretion without going against the law.////


    The system doesn't need plastering bandaid treatment. It needs healing. Thatswhy I have insisted in the end that the Agriculture need to be reformed by detaching the too much intervention of the government in local decision making and creating a real local land administration and use system based on the traditional wisdom of respective region or places. For example, grazing is nuisance in Thanjavur belt for paddy cultivation. The solution was existing in the past before Independence and even after 1947 with revenue dept. It is that if the cattle or animals graze in other land it will be tied before the revenue dept office in the shed and the dept will provide grass and water until the owner collects it. The owner will be penalized for this irresponsible act. This was the beautiful local system. It was even said in Arthasasthra to control grazing. Likewise the local policies and the rules have to be encouraged and villages have to be empowered.

    Here, the peasant farming which is supported by the prime resources like land and water,is the key for farming and culture of India. It was never understood by Indian governence. They have removed this power.This is the colonial mindset. Worldwide it was done in the same way to derail the locals from their disciplines. This has to be restored.

    Otherwise, we will be often reading such article in THE HINDU and DINAMANI.