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Pipli Live –Part 2

Made For Each Other- ‘India vs World Economy’
May 4, 2014
Driving Through
May 6, 2014

The death of a young farmer from Daussa, Rajasthan reminds me of Pipli Live movie, more so when we saw beeline of a politician giving it a political color. The melodrama started during AAP rally which ended sadly with the death of a farmer- for whom the country doesn’t have time to somber.

O n the other hand, scene two, heated discussion and altercation amongst left, center and right continues on the issue of controversial Land Bill. The only link between these two acts is Land Bill for which this very poor deserted farmer had come to express his plight and seek a solution. Politicians were quick to play politics over his platitude and death with same old blame game against each other without going to root cause of ‘Suicide Spree’ in a so-called Agrarian economy.

Almost 67% of Indian Economy depend on Agriculture which has full of flaws like improper irrigation, Kisan credit, right pricing and compensation, proper PDS, middle man, lack of knowledge on modern agriculture, crop failure, yield issue and agriculture infrastructure including fertilizer and other modern technique to mitigate the yield challenge and on top that we are depending on good monsoon grappled with ever hostile climate change rising menace.

Many of you may be wondering why this bill is so important to politicians and causing so much debate inside and outside parliament house. Well! Farmers are the largest chunk of dedicated voters in our country, forget Agri economy and farmer’s well fare all that is a piece of shit, no one cares. What our MPs cares is vote bank and if they can swing farmers on their side, they will not only have the cake but also eat it.

Moreover, our Political class does not want farmers to have other development and source of income, as long they depend on agriculture and monsoon, political class can rule and swing votes, similar to what they want for Muslim Community to be uneducated. However, there is a caveat to this Land Amendment and take over, it may well be sold out and misused by Govt. in the name of infrastructure development to be sold out to Corporate and thus farmers becoming an Industrial laborer.

What is the real issue over the land bill:

Current legislature is poorly drafted and has no room for farmers improvement

  • Farmers are poorly compensated either for crop or land takeover by Govt.
  • has failed to take farmers consent to start any infrastructure project including road which may fall as part of farmers land with a lack of development plight of farmers remains same for decades

What Modi Govt. proposes briefly:

  • Better compensation for farmers, including credit and another facility
  • Acquisition of farmers land under 5 category falling under defense and infrastructure

What the opposition objecting:

  • Taking over of farmers land without his consent, 5 categories covers all and some should be dropped
  • Introduction of Congress version of the draft

Possible Hidden agenda:

There is a strong believe that farmers may not get right compensation and their land may be taken over by Corporate in the name of infrastructure development. In such scenario, it will be worse than Natha’s suicide drama… may be a genocide to force mass farmers into an industrial laborer.

Middle Path:

  • How long are we going to depend on agriculture and monsoon and therefore we need to modernize our farming land, crop yield, alternative irrigation system, like one adopted in Israel and change livelihood of farmers.
  • Make use of 90k hectare existing land banks that is lying unused for development
  • Amend land bill but with a caveat that farmer life is not affected while taking over, say for road building.
  • In a situation where farmers land is coming in between development, give him equal size of cultivable/agreeable land elsewhere or compensate adequately
  • Look at bringing real green revolution in this sector where yield should be our main focus
  • Partner with country like Israel on several developmental projects
  • All party should look at amendments balancing both developments as well and farmers angle
  • Let this campaign not be an ego issue of Modi and re-launch platform for RahulThe official amendments moved included limiting the industrial corridor to 1 km on both sides of highways and railway lines and acquisition of bare minimum land for projects.

New Amendments to impress opposition:

Provisions have been made for compulsory employment to one member of each family of farm laborers hit by the acquisition of land. Hearing and redressal of grievances will be taken up at the district level. The amendments also include dropping exemption from 80% consent of land owners to “social infrastructure” projects. There were fears that private individuals may use this clause to open colleges and hospitals which would actually be business models. Finally, I will conclude saying that all political party should look at both side of the coin and come up with solid draft, I am sure they can if they have the will or else they may continue to play around with another Pipli episode and keep watching another suicide.

Perhaps, this should be a wake-up call for all of us. Farmers, need to understand how to get out of debt trap and look for alternative options to earn money, political class need not misguide them in the name of Kisan Ralli and we as urban middle class need to understand the concept of Food Security and rising price and inflation- which is directly linked to Agriculture development – that will come through this Land Bill. So, all of us are affected by this crucial land Bill. If not now then when? and if not political class then who? Let us all rise above and look through the prism of national interest, farmers welfare, and food security to seek a solution to this much debated ever pending issue!

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