Monday, November 28, 2011

FDI and other things

Long ago I was invited to a discussion on industrialisation of agriculture and was quite aghast to see the then President, Prof Abdul Kalam and all the industrialists completely ready to industrialise agriculture without preliminary debate. Science had won it seemed, as they all smiled urbanely at one another in FICCI auditorium. Regardless of the plight of the farmers who produce bumper crop season after season without consideration of their own dreadful poverty, the state keeps suggesting that industrial farming is what will get us to occupy Mars at the earliest. The offer is ofcourse valid, but do we want to take it? Definitely not. Cash crop agriculture is one thing, but industrialised farming is quite another. The loss of lives in the rural sector should first be handled because multinationalism is not going to address this. The problem with politicians is that they cannot hear themselves, and they think everyone else is outdated. Learning from the mistakes of the west is something they never even imagine to be part of what they do. Ridding the countryside of the farmers who do form co-operatives, who can communicate what they need very clearly seems the obligation of the politicians ruling today. The jobs promised to the displaced rural youth is a small token while taking away livelihoods from millions of their kin. Since nothing happens without the consent of the people, it is unlikely that this move will succeed. Party affiliation is not obligatory to have freedom of speech, or to demand discussion over the most important events of the moment.

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