Monday October 22, 2018
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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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Karnataka Polls: BJP On The Way to Win, Congress May Get Hard Defeat

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

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A state of 60 million people, Karnataka is home to the Information Technology hub of Benguluru and was ruled by the BJP once before.
Congress may have to taste defeat in Karnataka, VOA

The BJP was on Tuesday set to return to power in its southern bastion Karnataka as its candidates crossed the half-way mark in vote count, stunning and ousting the ruling Congress and leaving the JD-S at the third spot.

Noisy celebrations broke out in party offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi and across Karnataka as Bharatiya Janata Party nominees were on the victory lap in 118 of the 222 constituencies which voted on Saturday.

This was a dramatic jump from the 40 seats the BJP won five years ago.

The Congress, desperate to retain power in the state amid shrinking appeal nationally, suffered major blows and was ahead only in 62 seats, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trailing in both the constituencies he contested: Badami and Chamundeshwari.

The Congress leader was way behind G.T Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular in Chamundeshwari, Election Commission officials said. And after leading initially, Siddaramaiah fell behind B.R. Sriramulu of the BJP in Badami.

In contrast, the BJP’s Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was ahead of his Congress rival by more than 11,000 votes in Shikaripura.

Energy Minister and Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar said that the numbers indicated that his party was on the way out after five years in power.

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

The BJP was overjoyed. “We are in a jubilant mood because we have crossed the half-way mark. We are confident of winning,” spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS.

BJP activists and leaders celebrated noisily in both Bengaluru and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and party President Amit Shah.

There were also celebrations outside the residence of Yeddyurappa, who has been Chief Minister earlier too.

Of the 2,654 candidates in the fray for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections, at least 883 are crorepatis and 645 have criminal cases against them, said two watchdogs after analysing their affidavits filed with the Election Commission (EC).
Karnataka Polls counting suggests big win for BJP, wikimedia commons

The Janata Dal-Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 40 seats — the same number it won five years ago.

As the vote count progressed, BJP leaders became assertive, saying they were confident of taking power again in Karnataka while Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S.

BJP leader and Union Minister Sadanand Gowda said that there was no question of any alliance.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi.

Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas.

Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday.

Modi’s Performance: Survey Reports That Significant Number of People Rate Performance of Modi Government as Below Expectations

According to market observers, broadly subdued Asian indices and disappointing macro-economic inflation data points released on Monday capped some gains.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in banking, capital goods, metals, consumer durables and automobile stocks.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,993.53 points and a low of 35,498.83 points during the intra-day trade. (IANS)