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Cruel Joke: How governments have continually mocked Indian farmers

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By Meghna

The dependence of any society on agriculture is an undeniable fact. Regardless of this, the Indian farmer is at the fringes of economic development and barely receives enough economic support from the government, despite being the chief source of production and chief supplier of raw materials. Year after year, the farmers are subjected to mockery in the name of compensation of losses.

Recently, the PDP-BJP alliance government of Jammu and Kashmir derided the woes of the farmers by doling out meager amounts ranging from Rs.47- Rs.378, as compensation to the peasants whose crops were destroyed in the 2014 floods. This is not the first time the farmers have received such a puny sum of money as compensation.

In 2013, the farmers of Vidarbha region of Maharashtra got pittance as compensation despite the chief minister announcing Rs 2,000 crores as aid for the flood hit regions of Vidarbha, a report in The Hindu had revealed. The farmers incurred losses amounting to Rs 15,000 during the monsoon floods of 2013, but received meager amounts in the range of Rs 80-100 from the government as compensation.

Year after year, the farmers incur such losses and the government rubs salt on their wounds. The compensation provided by the government can barely aid the farmer and their families in providing themselves one day’s meal.

There have also been cases where farmers of Agra got cheques in the name of deceased farmers.

The scanty amounts have time and again made the farmers take harsh steps, like in Haryana, in 2015, a farmer committed suicide owing to the scanty amount he received as compensation. More and more families of farmers are being pushed towards destitution by the government.

This year, in Mathura, some farmers who had incurred losses amounting to Rs. 80,000, owing to the off season rains in March, received cheques worth Rs. 73, Rs. 186 and Rs. 750, as per a report.

With the passage of time, such instances of bizarre distribution of relief funds to the farmers have magnified in frequency and magnitude. A recent report published by DNA exposed the Haryana Government has giving away amounts as low as Re 1, Rs. 2 and Rs. 3 to the farmers of Mewat as compensation for the crops they lost during the 2014 hailstorms.

When the forces of nature act, there is nothing the poor farmer can do. Agriculture being the sustenance of everyone, the government should take some actions to pull the farmers from the depths of poverty.

Various governments have come and gone, but the condition of the poor Indian farmer has remained unchanged.

In light of such abysmal compensation sums being awarded, why would anyone want to become a farmer in India?

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This Exhibition Captures A City’s Colours During Monsoon

The West Bengal-born artist has participated in 16 international group art exhibitions.

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Artist Purnendu Mandal At Indian Habitat Centre.

With some of them almost a photographic reflection of daybreak after rain, artist Purnendu Mandal’s canvasses — currently on exhibition at Triveni Kala Sangam here — are a deluge of vivid warm colours that capture a city’s landscape after rain.

“It is almost like looking outside a window, but through a work of art,” Mandal told IANS.

Mandal’s 15 acrylic- and oil-on-canvass artworks – collectively titled “Reflections 3” – document the subtleties of urban life during the rains — first light in a city, storms, rickshaw-pullers and bus drivers resuming activity after a rainy day, and building silhouettes reflecting in the water-filled puddles.

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Purnendu Mandal’s Work

Also included are visual effects of the monsoon like rain drops, fog, wet climate, reflections in water and shades of dampness.

To that extent, “Good Morning Kolkata” (2018), a painting of a tram on a damp Kolkata street, with old buildings and bundles of electric wires adding to the realistic depiction, reflects a day in the city as one would experience it.

For Mandal, it is about making his canvasses a literal window to the seasonal changes a city undergoes.

“I try to paint cities season-wise. This exhibition shows the beauty of a city after and during the monsoon,” Mandal told IANS.

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Purnendu Mandal’s Exhibition’s Invite. Available on his social media

Mandal’s impressionistic style revolves around cities and seasons and his rich repository of art has been exhibited around the world.

Also Read: Save Skin During Monsoon, Avoid Smokey Eyes

“Thus, the current exhibition has scenes from Varanasi ghats, and Kolkata’s and Mumbai’s urban life,” he added.

The West Bengal-born artist has participated in 16 international group art exhibitions in Indonesia, UK, USA, UAE, Thailand, Taiwan, Bangladesh and Nepal, in addition to showcasing his work at Indian galleries including Jehangir Art Gallery, Nehru Centre Art Gallery, Lalit Kala Akademi, AIFACS Gallery, Triveni Art Gallery, Chemould Art Gallery, and Chitra Kala Parishath. (IANS)