Saturday, July 26, 2014


குறள் 1031:
சுழன்றும்ஏர்ப் பின்னது உலகம் அதனால்
உழந்தும் உழவே தலை.

குறள் 1032:
உழுவார் உலகத்தார்க்கு ஆணிஅஃ தாற்றாது
எழுவாரை எல்லாம் பொறுத்து.

குறள் 1033:
உழுதுண்டு வாழ்வாரே வாழ்வார்மற் றெல்லாம்
தொழுதுண்டு பின்செல் பவர்.
These two kurals speak of how agriculture is at the helm of all occupations as that sustains ‘life’. How true! The urgency of dinning sense into the mind of people-citizens and leaders included, can’t be more emphasized, given the sorry state of affairs.One should realize no matter where you live, what you do or how well you live, one has to eat of the soil.
There is a spoof on air about the rising prices of onions- Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, the Big B of indian stock market has given up on share trading instead he’s buying onions big time!
In pune, none of the vegetables can be had for less than Rs 80 or Rs 120 per kg. Not that if you r ready to pay, the vegetables are available-I’ve forgotten the names of some vegetables since I haven’t seen them in the shelves for quite a while.There is no cultivation happening, for various reasons:
1. Agricultural land is being usurped in the name of industrialization and infrastructure to make way for roads, factories, IT parks and the farmers are paid a pittance as compensation. With this compensation, they have a lumpsum money in place of a means of livelihood. With no other skill to live by, they migrate to cities and soon the money and they are parted.
2. If at all there is no threat of losing the land, monsoon fails them or there is no proper irrigation- the kaveri dispute between TN and Karnataka is an example that has played havoc with farming. Even in places where farmers are using groundwater, in places like TN with heavy powercuts, pumpsets can’t be deployed to pump out groundwater for the fields.
3. The farmer is unable to pay off his debt and commits suicide-The Vidhrba region of Maharashtra is infamous for that. Ironically, the Union Minister for Ariculture is from the same state.The farmer can’t decide on the rate at which he will sell his produce- the govt decides that and by govt, we mean all the tiers of middlemen who will fill their pockets before  giving the farmer his due, rendered meagre by their interference.
And the Minister for Agriculture lets the grains rot in godowns and busy wielding his power in Cricket admin.while the helpless farmer is contemplating the final end-our own desi version of Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burned.
4. Farming is not in the list of desired employment options of the current generation-can’t blame them for there is no glamour nor glory anymore. It’s not easy either being a farmer nowa days-even if I were to turn farmer, I won’t get land big enough to cultivate and break even and there will be so many hurdles on my path to make me beat a hasty retreat.
Another point I wish to add:
Thanks to MNREGA- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act of the current govt which ostentatiously vows to have created jobs for rural folks, there are no farm hands ready to help in farming- there is easy money to be had under the scheme-Govt wishes to show funds allocated and spent  by way of wages to rural folks which is another way to siphon off tax payers’ money into their own deep pockets.
I’m reminded of yet  another tamil song which generated lot of flak from the state govt of those days- Madras nalla Madras from Anubhavi Raja Anubhavi- a line from the song goes thus:
Enga yerottam ninnu ponaa unga kaarottam ennavaagum?
It’s about time the world pondered over this.

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