More than 2.5 lakh farmer suicides in a span of 10 years!!!..Have we been dead all these years???? The acute agrarian crisis has graved the country since the advent of the neo-liberal regime.The urban middle class society has indulged itself in an ostentatious world characterized by consumerism and is oblivious of the vagaries of the agrarian class.It is in this context that P.Sainath’s NERO’S GUESTS deserves wide appraise. But I am quite skeptical of its popularity. Serious attempts has to come from altruists and forums like us to reach it to a wider spectrum of the society.. No “ANNA” will come to your cause, OH MY DEAR FARMERS…!!!
Nero’S GUESTS portrays the distressing picture of the agrarian crisis and the growing inequality in the society, seen through the eyes of P.Sainath, rural affairs editor of The HINDU and the winner of the MAGSASAY AWARD 2007.
Nero was an ancient ROMAN emperor who engrossed himself in extravaganza. According to Tactius, a Roman historian, NERO held the greatest party the ancient world had ever seen. The diabolical emperor burnt alive a thousands of deprived and downtrodden in his gardens.. NERO and NERO’S GUESTS wanted the party to go on all the night…There was no other “SOURCE OF LIGHT”…!!!!!
Who is NERO? WHO ARE NERO”S GUESTS? Was I a part of the malicious NEROS GUESTS?? Were you ,and are still a part of the NERO’S BLOODY GUESTS? Its high time we did a self introspection…The homicide party has been spearheaded by the various ludicrous governments which spread the apocryphal propaganda of an overdeveloped country by opening its gates to liberalization and globalization . OH, my beloved RULERS, what have you brought in by getting aligned to the policies of the rich and bourgeois? There has been a sharp deceleration in agricultural growth rate and stagnation in agricultural production post 1990s. The Agricultural strategy for the Eleventh plan prepared by the planning commission shows that the agricultural GDP growth declined from 3.62% during 1984-85 to 1995-96 to 1.85% during 1995-96 to 2004-05. The state wise trends indicate that the larger declines in agricultural growth have occurred in states that are predominantly rain fed. OH, my beloved RULERS, why has there been a prominent difference pre and post 1990s?
OH, my beloved RULERS, why has even the rain fed states been driven to dire straits post 1990s??? Even a small kid would answer this .
Because that was the time when you submitted yourself to the profit oriented corporations and imperialists. You may argue that your strategies have been instrumental in an overall GDP growth over the years. But I have strong reasons to repudiate your claims. While the agricultural growth rate decelerated from 3.27% during 1990-91 to 1999-00 to 1.74% during 1999-00 to 2004-05, the non-agricultural growth rate was 7.25% and 7.04% in the corresponding period. Non agricultural growth was tremendous while the agriculture remained in a predicament..The share of agriculture to the GDP had a drastic decline in this period. According to the Employment & Unemployment report (2009-2010), around 50% of the entire population still earn a livelihood out of agriculture. This leads us to the conclusion that the unprecedented economic growth in terms of GDP following the neo liberal incubation has not really percolated to the major share of the population which still seek agriculture for a living. The pattern of the growth is clearly skewed against the rural population. The fruits of the economic boom are shared by the rulers and their selected GUESTS. Consequently there has been great disparities and inequalities economically ,socially and geographically. When there is a clear divide and underdevelopment for a major share of the population, Oh my beloved RULERS , what is the logic and reasoning behind the argument that the country is shining…????NERO and HIS GUESTS who have a predilection for the neo liberal phenomenon may come with up the preposterous pretension that the new order will infact provide an opportunity for the traditional agriculturists to move out of agriculture to a more earning profession thereby enhancing their overall development.. Oh My beloved elite class, in conjunction with your abhorrent claim ,I , as a dejected farmer would like to ask you something.. True, we moved out of agriculture, but is it to the grandiloquent stature of yours??Most of us are into unorganized and non rewarding labours like construction, hotels and restaurants. Heavy slash in the income from agriculture and the dwindling employment opportunities landed most of the farmers in heavy debt.The NSS 59th round of survey conducted in 2003 indicated that 48.6% of farmer households were indebted .Most of them commit suicides for amounts as low as 20,000 which is the price of some of the gadgets NERO and his GUESTS buy for their pleasure and cheap egos.
It will be highly fallacious if the present crisis is seen unrelated to the state sponsored capitalism that prevailed during the post independence period. OH MY Beloved Rulers, your claims of land reforms were a farce.. Rather than abolishing the zamindari or the landlord system , you had strived to develop a new form of zamindari system.The traditional feudal landlords were transformed into capitalist landlords and they always ended up being the GUESTS of the state. Legislative laws to abolish statutory landlordism were cleverly subjugated by the RULERS and their GUESTS for their vested interests and so the land still remained your asset .The land reforms that were implemented by the Congress governments were not meant to protect the tenants, agricultural workers and the weaker sections of the society. The fruits of the prodigious development in agriculture following the Green revolution of the 1960’s were highly skewed in favor of the newly formed capitalistic landlords and the other rich section of the society . The mass of the peasantry remained archaic.This is where the significance of the Left led governments have to been seen. In states like Kerala,
Your Financial liberalization measures have further afflicted the peasants. The intervention of the private banks have reduced the availability of rural credits.The domestic farmers find it really difficult to bring in an investment. As a final resort, they turn back to private moneylenders who demand a killing interest. Oh My beloved rulers, do you deserve anything less than death???
Your atrocities are still not over…You showed the way for corporate giants like MONSANTO to establish themselves . You helped them monopolize the various seeds. You made them a dictator. You skewed the science and research in the esteemed universities for your GUESTS. You made them inherit biodiversity . I heard that you are even planning to privatize even natural resources like water…The list is never ending…
The disposition shown by the Fourth estate in this regard is without say opprobrious. As Sainath laments, the main stream media has neglected the causes of the common man to the core. Media has also been hijacked. When there are full time fashion correspondents glamour correspondents, society correspondents ,not a single newspaper in the country has a rural correspondent. Hell, the bloody profit oriented mentality of the so called media has made them your GUESTS too…
Comrades , I feel the time has come for us to join hands together and fight these usurpers. The mass uprisings that took place in