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Unattended and unending woes of Karnataka farmers

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By Nithin Sridhar

351597-farmer-draughtAs many as 29 farmers committed suicide in the sugarcane hub Mandya district. The death count was 197 by July 29. Many lost their lives in districts, namely, Mysuru, Belagavi, Tumkur, Dharwad and Davanagere.

Increasing farmers’ debts due to loans from moneylenders on exorbitant rates has escalated suicides. Farmers with less than two acres of land manage loans from banks and co-operative societies with great difficulty.

Consequently, they are forced to take money from private moneylenders who slap high interest rates.  Though the law stipulates that the moneylender should not charge more than 14% annual rate of interest, many unscrupulous moneylenders charge 2- 3% interest per month and sometimes it shoots up to as much as 36% interest per year (As per Frontline, GC Bayya Reddy,President, Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha KPRS). This issue has hit the farmers

When Newsgram asked about this farmers’ dilemma from Mysore University professor Assadi, he explained moneylenders facilitated quick money to farmers in need. Every time a farmer is in distress and needs money, a moneylender will be the first person the farmer would approach.

The professor, who is also the Chairman in Political Science department, said-

“In many cases, moneylenders are also seed-providers. In such cases, the moneylenders will provide the seeds to the farmers and later purchase their commodities. This provides an opportunity for the moneylenders to completely exploit the farmers. In days of yore, feudal lords, like the moneylenders today,used to exploit farmers by usurp their lands in case they fail to repay loans. But, now moneylenders exploit farmers not by confiscating their land, but by increasing their debts and exploiting the commodities produced.”

The drought this year in at least 16 districts of the total 30 districts is another factor that has severely affected farmer

Karnataka farmers. The drought has caused crop failure at many places and has further increased the farmers’ woes.

Analyzing the issue of drought from an Ecological perspective, Dr. Assadi termed drought as man-made and human greed has led to deforestation and global warming. Therefore, multiple factors like drought, crop failure, and loan dilemma have aggravated the agrarian crisis that has taken place in Karnataka.

Measures that could help tackle agrarian crisis 

According to Dr Assadi agriculture should be unyoked from global market dependence. Agriculture should be declared as an industry and provided advantages like any other industry. A new policy must be implemented wherein further fragmentation of the agricultural lands must be prohibited, as it has led to countless farmer woes. A distress cell must be introduced in villages wherein the farmers can be counselled.

On a similar note, Report on Farmers’ suicide (2006): Meeta & Rajivlochan

  •  Improve the efficiency of various infrastructures present at the local level like Primary Health centres
  •  At least one trained medical nurse must be present in each Panchayat who can provide succour and guidance to the people
  • Appropriate vocational education must be provided at village and taluk levels to assist people in understanding the complexities of the present day production and marketing techniques
  •  Ex-gratia payment to the families of suicide victims must be stopped (as many may commit suicide so that their family gets compensation)
  •  The farmers should be provided direct cash subsidies instead of their indirect counterparts

The relationship between agriculture and globalization must be deliberated upon so that a holistic and pragmatic solution can be achieved to address farmers’ issues. Various short-term initiatives and long-term policy changes must be carried out to tackle the agrarian crisis.

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Swarna Bharat Party condemns government’s healthcare policy in Karnataka

The privatisation of health policies was opposed by SBP

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Health policies of Karnataka being opposed by SBP
SBP asks government to work on government hospitals rather then privatising them. Facebook
18th November 2017:
Mr Asif Iqbal, Karnataka State coordinator of Swarna Bharat Party (SBP), today strongly opposed the communist, anti-market and anti-people policy of the Congress Karnataka government to cap healthcare charges in the private sector.
Mr Iqbal said that the Siddaramaiah government should start learning basic economics. Good intentions do not necessarily lead to good outcomes. This communist policy will shut down many hospitals and drive away thousands of health professionals. In this way, it will hurt everyone, including the poor. No communist society has ever done well, and this communist policy will badly harm Karnataka.
In a free market people voluntarily give their custom to the service provider who gives them the best service at the lowest cost. Simultaneously, the desire for profits motivates healthcare providers to provide good quality healthcare while keeping their costs down. And they can’t charge whatever they wish since they are forced by the competition among hospitals to keep prices low. Anyone who makes a profit in such a competitive environment is signalling that he has successfully and efficiently served the people. That is the best outcome for society.
Mr Iqbal said that a government’s role is to create the environment for market-led profitable investments, thereby serving the needs of the community. But instead of identifying and addressing any barriers to investment, the Congress communists are attacking the very existence of the health sector.
Mr Siddaramaiah should remember that the taxpayer does not subsidise private medical establishments, nor should there be any such subsidy. These establishments buy land at commercial rates, pay commercial taxes and get utilities like water and electricity at commercial rates. In fact, SBP understands that most private hospitals and clinics do not break even for the first 5-10 years and most earn barely enough to stay in business.
Mr Iqbal said that instead of Mr Siddaramaiah worrying about the private sector (which is already badly shackled with thousands of rules and infrastructure constraints), he should look within – at the total mismanagement of government hospitals. The private sector is the last ray of hope for the people of Karnataka. Now the anti-people Congress wants to extinguish even this last ray of hope.
SBP also opposes many other aspects of the new health laws, such as a district redressal body that comprises six members but with only one doctor member. Further, there are already several avenues for patients to complain, including consumer courts, civil courts, medical bodies. Creating another body is unnecessary and will only increase fear in doctors’ mind. SBP demands a complete repeal of the new law.

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Lingayats in Karnataka to form Forum, Demand Separate Religion Status

The squabble between the two seers has witnessed several turns past few days

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Lingayats against Veerashaivas
An important center of pilgrimage for people of the Lingayat faith in India. Wikimedia
  • The Lingayat community leaders are planning to form a forum to up the ante on their demand for separate religion status
  • The leaders hold that Lingayats and Veerashaivas are different 
  • Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha meeting is scheduled on August 10 to reach a final decision 

New Delhi, August 9, 2017: The Lingayat community leaders in Karnataka are planning to float an all India front, which will be an umbrella body for all Lingayat outfits in the country. It is an attempt to further up the ante on their demand for a separate religion status.

According to The Hindu report, Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha meeting has been scheduled on August 10, in Bengaluru, where further discussion will take place to evolve a consensus and reach a conclusive decision.

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The leaders, at a press conference in Kalaburgi stated, that contrary to the opinion of the Mahasabha, they do not consider Lingayats and Veerashaivas as the same. “We hold that Veerashaiva and Lingayat are different and hence demand independent status for the Lingayat community. A meeting of leaders representing both will be convened in Bengaluru on August 10. If the Veerashaiva Mahasabha continues to adhere to its stand, we will begin to float an Akhila Bharata Linghayat Mahasabha bringing all Lingayat organisations and religious institutions together,” said Sanjay Makal, a Lingayat leader, during the press conference.

“Veerashaiva upholds and practises the principles advocated by the vedas, aagamas, shastras, puranas and other texts that are part of Hindu religion. Based on this, earlier applications for religion tag to Veerashaiva/Lingayat were rejected outright. If we demand independent religion status to Lingayat alone, we will be successful as the demand has solid material base,” he added.

Also read: First Hindi and now English, the Language War in Karnataka Continues

The squabble between the two seers has witnessed several turns past few days. Recently, Lingayat Mahasabha filed a defamation complaint against the Rambhapuri Jagadguru Prasannarenuka Veera Someshwara Rajadeshikendra Shivacharya Mahaswamiji, the head of the Veerashaiva math based out of Chikamagaluru. He had taken a stand that Veershaivas and Lingayats are the same.

On August 2, Sharana Chandramouli, Lingayat Mahasabha State President, filed a complaint against the Rambhapuri Pontiff for allegedly making defamatory statements against Mate Mahadevi, the head of the Lingayat mutt Basava Dharma Peetha.

According to Chandramouli, the Rambhapuri pontiff had issued a statement stating that Mate Mahadevi had, in 1962, written a love letter to Lingananda Swami, the religious head who initiated Mate Mahadevi into the mutt.

The Rambhapuri seer’s statement was followed by protests, with the followers of Mate Mahadevi shouting slogans against the Rambhapuri seer demanding him to tender an apology to the woman seer.

An effigy of the Rambhapuri pontiff was also burnt during the protests.

In reaction to this, on August 1, an effigy of Mate Mahadevi was also burnt, by thousands of followers of the Rambhapuri seer from Gadag, Dharwad and Bidar, who staged a protest in Hubballi.

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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In last 3 Years, there is a Significant Rise in Chamundeshwari Temple’s Income

The income rise is seen as there have been donations by devotees collected in the temple hundi and from various sources also.

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Chamundeshwari Temple
Chamundeshwari Temple. Wikimedia commons
  • The income of Chamundeshwari Temple has registered a notable increase over a period of three years
  • During the Ashada Shukravaras, private vehicles are prohibited on the road to Chamundi Hills by the administration
  • This temple is around 1,000 years old

Karnataka, July 31, 2017: On top of Chamundi Hills in Karnataka, there lies the famous Sri Chamundeshwari Temple. The hills are about 13 km from Mysore, Karnataka and globally famous for its beauty. The temple is named Chamudeshwari as in it resides goddess Durga, the word Chamundi means Durga itself. She is the fierce form of Shakti (power). She is known as the slayer of demons- Chanda, Munda and also Mahishasura, (buffalo-headed monster).

This temple is around 1,000 years old and, what was a small shrine initially, gained importance over the centuries and today it has become a big temple. The temple saw its first share of significance after the Maharajas of Mysore known as Wodeyars came to power in 1399 A.D., they were known to be great devotees and worshippers of the Devi Chamundeshwari. She became their home deity and thus assumed religious prominence at that time and it has only seen rise since then.

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The income of Chamundeshwari Temple has registered a notable increase over a period of three years. According to a statement issued by Deputy Commissioner D. Randeep, the temple’s total income between April to July when Ashada Shukravara’s (Fridays) are observed was: in 2015- ₹5.98 crore, in 2016- ₹7.86 crore and reached a height of ₹11.08 crore in 2017.

The total income came from various sources such as pujas and offerings and also the donations collected in the temple hundi. The hundi collection between April and July 2015 was ₹1.63 crore and during the corresponding period in 2016, it was ₹3.51. It increased to ₹3.86 crore in the following year.

The temple income though marginally dipped from ₹4, 35, 29,205 during 2015 (April to July) to ₹4, 35, 08,507 during 2016, it went up significantly to ₹7.22 crore during 2017.As per a statement from the Deputy Commissioner, the Ashada hundi collection alone during 2017 was a surprising ₹1.74 crore and he added that the hundi counting was carried out on July 26 and 27.

A noteworthy point is that there’s a large volume of traffic on the road to Chamundi Hills especially during the auspicious occasions and on weekends.

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During the Ashada Shukravaras, private vehicles are prohibited on the road to Chamundi Hills by the administration. As a solution, alternative arrangements are made for the transport by KSRTC buses. Such is the popularity of this big temple filled with devotees.

As traffic on the road to the hilltop grows dense on weekends and auspicious days, there is big chaos at the last stretch of the road leading to the area around Mahisasura statue owing to haphazard parking.

Whenever the flow of traffic increases, the traffic police halt vehicles near the Mysore City viewing point in order to prevent congestion at the hilltop. The halted vehicles are allowed to proceed only after sufficient parking space is created at the hilltop when the parked vehicles leave the area.

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Apart from Chamundeshwari Temple, there are some other wealthy temples in India- Sai Baba Temple of Shirdi and Tirumala Tirupati.

The renowned Sai Baba Temple of Shirdi, managed by Shree Saibaba Sansthan Trust is one of the wealthiest temples in the country. As per official records, from January to December 2016, the revered Sai Baba temple managed to accumulate a received income of ₹403.75 crore. When compared to the previous year’s income (₹393.72 crore), it’s a massive gain. Of the total income gained in the year 2016 ₹258.42 crore was in the form of donations. The temple earned a whopping cash donation of ₹258.42 crore. To make things more golden, it fetched ₹6.74 crore and ₹1.10 crore from 28 kg gold ornaments and silver jewellery, respectively.

When we speak of wealthy temples, how can we not mention Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam? Fondly known as Tirumala, the temple of Lord Venkateswara attained a massive wealth of ₹1,018 in 2016. Adding to the ever-increasing wealth, approximately 10 crore pieces of the iconic Tirupati Laddoo prasadam was sold. Not only this, ₹201 crore was generated by the online business. Each year the temple sells the online-ticket for darshan. In the said year too, more than 67 lakh Hindu devotees bought the online darshan tickets.

prepared by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08

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