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Friday, August 29, 2008

Respect Farmers!

The agitation in Sigur against allotment of land to TATA for building Nano Car Factory has brought industrialists and farmers at crossroads. The investors are interpreting the things in their own way and people around there have their own issues. But in-between a positive side is that it has highlighted the plight of farmers who frequently lose their farmland by the drastic means of land acquisition laws.

First, Please don't see Singur things in isolation. This is not the first time when this 'fundamental right' of farmers is getting violated. Singur is the symbol of the injustice to GRAB the LIFE of farmers going in abated since the withdrawal of fundamental right on property. I would accept the legal instrument by the means of which Government grabs the agriculture land, if you accept the logic of demolishing the factories to cultivate crops in that land? Will anyone accept this argument? No, industrialists would fight tooth and nail to strike down the very concept of creation of such an instrument. Does not it symbolize double standards to two fellow citizens one of which is getting deprived of his that land which is nothing less than life for him and the other fellow citizen is enjoying not only his property but also getting more property from fellow citizens. This is injustice. More it is not acceptable in the Modern India for which our first PM defined as industries are temples of modern India. Mind it temples are never build in graveyards and force able land acquisition is nothing but making graveyard of farmers.

Second, I object treating Mr. Ratan Tata as a villain to make the news items catchy. Mr. Ratan Tata has made India proud by his contribution. He is a prized citizen to this nation. It is unfortunate that till date BHARAT RATNA has not been awarded to him. He is building the plant because Government allotted that land to him. He was instrumental neither in abolishing the fundamental right to property nor in senseless use of it by politicians. The same politicians who committed these blunders are staging DHARNA before TATA factory. This is cheap politics to win the votes of the farmers even after duping farmers of everything.

Perhaps agriculture is the last profession in which a youngster would be interested in the country, where majority meet their end meet by agriculture. India allots a royal share in budget in the name of agriculture each year, still she needs to allot thousands crore of rupees to wave-off their loans. India is the country where lakhs of farmers have committed suicide for professional misery. Agriculture is not holding a status of industry. Indeed it cannot with the famers sentiments attached to their land, to whom it is better to die to lose land. Indian farmers grow so much that demand-supply equation fails and Government has to put ventilator of minimum support prices. The farmers don't have guarantee to practice their profession, agriculture, in their own fields as Government holds right to grab their land by the means of Land Acquisition Laws. The government also holds right to restrict the choice of selecting buyer to their produce by banning exports.

If practicing agriculture is so tough, then who will grow to feed the nation? Who will promote their sons and daughters to remain in agriculture? Is this not a fact that majority of Indians practice agriculture because they are farmers by compulsion not by choice? If this question holds water, then the situation is alarming for the nation. Irrespective of the tough life, each year farmers produce more than what they have produced previous year. Their silent cry needs our attention and the nation needs to do more than chanting Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan slogan.

In many pockets of our territories there is plenty of land in our country which is not suitable for agriculture. Then why agriculture land is always found suitable to get acquired and allotted for industrial use? In my opinion this is a great subject matter of investigation and I promise to the investigators there is a lot find and to expose!!

The changing use of agriculture land into non-agriculture land should be a crime. Civilization can sustain without any industry but cannot survive even for a day without grains which come out of agriculture. This is a selfish but strong argument in support of farmers and agriculture without deviating or disrespecting Pt. Nehru's vision to treat Industries as temples of Modern India. A stronger argument is that agriculture is lifeline of around 70% population of India. No Government can provide equally arable land to farmers in compensation to acquisition to their farmland in a country where occupation of majority of population is agriculture. But can certainly develop pockets of land not suitable for agriculture as industrial zones. The monetary compensation to agriculture land acquisition is injustice and inhuman treatment to our fellow citizens whom the Constitution still guarantees the right to equality. It is so because mostly small and marginal farmers after losing their land become landless unskilled labourers. Agriculture is a noble profession and loosing it and then to work as landless labourers is perhaps dying each moment instead of dying for once. Small farmers cannot afford to do anything else but agriculture. India is a country of public ballot and it is surprising to notice insensitivity towards farmers.

Please respect farmers. Respect their hard work to feed all of us. Respect them as equal citizens. Respecting farmer is respecting the nation. Perhaps that is why Late Lal Bahadur Shastri, Former Prime Minister, gave the slogan, "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan". The implementation of this slogan by spirit has the potential to make the nation AYAI (invincible), so please take it seriously.

Friday, August 22, 2008

India Needs Liberation from Article 370

Law is not static; it is dynamic. It is true that Article 370 was instrumental in the signing of the accession instrument which made J&K a part of India. Since then much water has flown both in Jhelum and Yamuna. Since independence we have almost lost more than one third of J&K to Pakistan and China which are known to the world as Azad Kashmir (PoK to India) and Aksi Chin (if I rightly remember this name). Four wars have been fought and much blood of the sons of main soil has been sacrificed in this process. The present condition is our neighbour has succeeded in her ulterior motives by dividing J&K on communal lines. There is hardly any supporter of India on her own soil in Kashmir valley, to which we hypocritically say an integral part of India. Please look into the sub section 3 of Article 370 which says that President of India can struck down this Article only after the due consent of the Constituent Assembly of J&K. Will you call it a Sovereign Power of our nation in which it has to seek permission of anyone sitting outside Parliament of India? What kind of integral part of India is this State which has its own Constitution and laws to run the State? What kind of integrity is reflected in this State which needs deployment of a major part of Indian Army to carry the myth of its integrity with India?

The current Amaranth Trust issue would not have caught national headlines if it had taken place at any place out of J&K in any other State. The pictures of Kashmir Valley are terrifying to any patriot. The state of affairs is alarming. This is high time to accept the mistakes committed by the political parties in power to mess up the issues. There are hundreds of amendments to the Constitution. Even under Article 370, a part has already been repealed. The country is facing the threat to her integrity, if we assume that J&K is an integral part of India. J&K is head of mother India. Just like head which requires more blood than any other organ in a human body, J&K has been pumped more young blood of the nation than required to any other State. India is a Sovereign nation. Her sovereignty is challenged every second in Kashmir valley. Please go and face the Pakistan fanatic mob in the street as an Indian Army soldier. You would realise how tough is to face anti Indian sentiments carrying mob and maintain the law and order to keep mission Kashmir going. You would perhaps also realise how tough it is to those poor soldiers to hold their sentiments to accept those Pakistani (read anti national elements) as fellow citizen. You may also realise how difficult it is to respect human rights in such tough conditions and how easier it is to write human rights of terrorists and anti nationals.

The newspapers report regularly how brutally Indians civilians are treated for years in Pakistani prisons and thrown back in Indian territory when they lost all senses. I do read such stories in media but never saw any human rights violation alarm from media on behalf of those poor civilians. Are all moral obligations unwritten laws for India and all liberty for Pakistan? It is easy to target defence personnel as they can be spotted in their uniforms but it is a violation of human rights even to suspect a terrorist. It is very difficult to fight against enemies within our territories as they always remain in the disguise of common civilians until they play their game. Please have some sympathy if not support to our own brothers in defence uniforms and report about them also outside the defined headline of publishing the news of their martyrdoms while serving the nation.

With the first Sun of Modern Independent India we saw division of our land into two parts. Then we lost a major portion of J&K to Pakistan and China. We are peace loving country but we are neither eunuch nor impotent. But we are not ready to sacrifice our blood for baking breads of the politicians. Please come out to the ground realities and drag those too outside their comfort zones who have mastered the art of securing the right of ruling the nation in the name of people. Else, history will never forgive any one of us while describing another disintegration of India.

Please try to see what is written on the wall. If signing the document of accession was the need to 1947, saying goodbye to Article 370 is the demand of time. It would be justice with those Indian soldiers who have given their lives considering fighting for their own nation on the soil of J&K. It would integrate J&K with such strength that then never again Pakistan could be able to divide people living in the State on communal lines. Please add your voice to create a thunder of Indian masses support, it would be heard and transform into the liberation to India from Article 370.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Energy Crisis

When we talk about energy our attention goes towards electricity and fossil fuels. What about the energy we need to survive? No one speaks about poor farmers on whose produce all survive, grow and prosper. But perhaps plight of farmers is not known to most of us who do not have any relation to farming or agriculture.

As per the latest news items world is facing an acute food crisis. Meanwhile WTO is in preparation for opening up trade further to include agriculture. There is a relation between food crisis and opening up of trade in agriculture produce. The developed world is gearing up to ensure its food security.

The condition of poor farmers is pathetic at least in the third world countries including my nation India. India is known as country of farmers. Still most of the population of India lives in villages and sustain on agriculture. Their plight is imaginable from that fact that when India secured her political freedom 70 to 80 per cent population was living in villages and was dependent on agriculture. Today, still around 60 per cent population is living in villages but agriculture needs only 10 per cent of the rural population. What rest of the people should do, is a big question neither attended and nor addressed. The pressure on agrarian land is tremendous. It is loosing its fertility in the need to grow more and more and for all kind of efforts to make it possible.

The interesting twist to this food crisis is that India is harvesting her bumper wheat crop these days as the second largest wheat producer of the world and India does not have enough safe places to store the harvested crop! Hats off to the Indian Administration system and political will for taking care to the agriculture!!

The fossil fuel crisis has added woes to the production of food grain. Bio-fuel crops are paying rich dividends to the farmers. They are finding growing bio-fuel crops profitable to cultivating food grain crops. Even floriculture is also a better option for farmers. Then who will grow food grains for 6.7 billion people of the world?

A series of questions have queued up in this small puzzling write-up on energy crisis. The first and foremost is that can Government compel farmers to grow only food grains? The other side of question is another question, Do farmers have right to make a choice what to sow?? Do farmers have right to select buyer of his crop? Do the farmers have right to use their fields exclusively for exports just like exports oriented units? In India Government exercises its powers to control exports and imports in food grains. Will this power remain with the national governments in the light of opening up of agriculture for trade under the aegis of WTO?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mothers Day!

For me every day is mother's day. So I don't see anything special in it. But it is the right occasion to remember and resolve to serve mother in a different form. Please learn to respect others mothers too. Stop abusing language most of which are directed to mothers and sisters.

My second concern is towards mother earth. She is mother of all of us but sadly no one remember her on mother's day. You can make very modest contribution by stopping splitting here and there; shunning the habit of peeing roadside; planting a tree and looking after it. It would be a contribution worth presenting your Mom a new dress.

My third concern is towards poor conditions of rivers. I live in Lucknow and every time I cross river Gomti, it pretends she is crying for help. I have grown up in this town and have witnessed slowly she is dying. The Government is concerned about putting concrete structure on both banks of her. Builders are concerned to make a few more bridges over it, municipality is using it as the right place for drifting city sewage and other waste into it Dear Lucknowites, all great towns have come up on a river side. If Gomti dies, surely developers would feel pride in selling its land for creating more concrete jungles but it would deprive you of drinking water. The depleting ground water resources would vanish in no time. Death of a river is reverse counting of death for the towns on her banks. This applies to all rivers. So pay your respect to your town's holy river by making it clean. She is also our mother.

Can you live if your body is covered with polythene? Then why do you use it and throw it anywhere? It ultimately covers mother earth. How would she breath? Liberate her to have a deep breath by ensuring that you would not use polythene and would not take home anything in polybag from market.

May we all be bless by Mothers! Happy Mother's Day!!