This is about a recent report, I saw in NDTV.  The report was really shocking and really shaken me thoroughly.  The report is talking about small farmers in the Vidarbh region (Near Nagpur) committing suicide because they could not sustain the loan burden and could not survive from the agricultural income. In the last eight months around 400 farmers have committed suicide.  This has become a daily occurrence. The government as usual just woken up and started its preliminary! Enquiries.  Some time back the same thing happened in Andra pradesh.  It also happened in Tamilnadu some time back, when rain failed and river kavery went dry.  Now it is forgotten by every body including the Government.This calamity is happening in the Heart of India (Central India!) but no self- respecting national media is prepared to do a decent report on this (Except NDTV!). This has been largely left to the local print media, who, due to their lack of funds, could not raise much needed noise.

I am not a farmer, so I cannot conclusively say, why agro business is failing in India.But what stuck me is the apathy of the Indian elite about this tragedy.  In that NDTV report, the reporter goes around the fast developing (shining!) city of Nagpur (Which incidentally the notional capital of Vidarbh region) asking the young citizens who are having nice time in the bars and clubs, about this tragedy.  The answers were pathetic.  They all speak as if they living in New York and London.  One guy doesn’t even know about Vidarbh region.  Funny enough, most of the people are locals who have born and brought up in Nagpur.   Why?

I don’t blame this generation alone.  Because, they are only the end result.  Then what is the root cause of this apathy?  WE.  We collectively failed.  We are breeding a generation, who clearly don’t understand that there some 80% of the Indian population who live in the rural India.

Now can you be sure that we are developing in the right direction.  I am not sure.

Because, as far as I can see, development means it should be a over all growth.  Not in one part of society or segment alone. We cannot have a biggest head on the very weak body. If so, then the body cannot carry that head for along.

We have neglected the rural masses, in our quest for BPOs and MNCs. If  we continue to neglect the rural, then we have to pay a very heavy price.  The recent Bangalore riots is only a glimbse of what is to come in future.  As the few intellectuals warned, the riots in Bangalore was not for the late Shri. Rajkumar.  The death of Shri. Rajkumar was only a spark to already highly charged tinderbox.
The riot is nothing but a venting of anger by the poor against the neo rich. The riot is the cry of the downtrodden seeking their share in the new found prosperity. They want to be heard.  But did we hear them? I am not sure.

The cities alone cannot grow.  The rural villages have to grow.  There should be more roads, more hospitals and more schools in the villages.  The real investments should go to these places.  There should be more employment opportunities in these villages, enabling the rural people to earn a decent living. Otherwise, as it happens now, we cannot stop the migration of the population to the overburdened cities.  Then there will be still more slums in the cities.

But, what is happening now?  The cities are growing monstrously big, with new tower block every corner.  But do have the right infrastructure to sustain this..NO.
Everyday, 500 cars are being registered in the city like Chennai.  Do we have the roads for them. NO.  

Have sorted out our power generation? NO. We are waiting for the Americans to invest in that.

Have sorted out our Drinking water situation in most of the cities?. NO. We are once again, like in Chennai, waiting for the foreign company to invest in that. 

WHY. As usual, we got our priorities wrong. 

We embraced the foreign culture, but we failed to understand the fundamentals. 

Now a very strong patriotic chorus is being churned out.  That is in 10 years, INDIA WILL BE A SUPER POWER. 

What is a super power?.. Does anybody know?.  I don’t think so.  If having atomic bomb is the sign of superpower, then India has become super power long time ago.  Then what.?

If it is the Economic strength, then we have very long way to go.  Because, non of the developed countries have farmers committing suicides. 
In every developed country, almost all their remote village is connected by road and they are provided with all the basic facilities like School, water, electricity etc.
In every developed country, every child is given QUALITY education for free.
In every developed country, the basic health care is free for every citizen and it VERY MUCH available.  In some countries like
UK, the whole health Care is Free.

This is what a real development is.

Can we claim to have achieved any one of these? A BIG NO.

These things cannot be achieved in one decade of flash prosperity.  These things can be achieved only by sustained and planned investment for a very long time.  May be it will take another 50 years to do this, if only we don’t change the course in the midstream. 

People may thing, that I am bit pessimistic.  But, you do need some body like me to question and challenge the way things are.  Then only we can have some open discussion and critical approach to the existing issues.


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