An open letter to P.Sainath
I don’t write open letters, but for everything there is a start. I have profound respect for P.Sainath, he is one of the honest journalists in India and one of the few popular journalist who is not on the payroll list of a political party. Sainath is the only journalist who has continuously written on farmers’ death and rural issues when other newspapers and News Channels were more interested in Cleavages and midriffs. Probably a fine stroke of integrity when he rejected the Padmasree award when the other less dignified journalists were crowned with the same. Sainath never hesitated to talk about the corruption and unethical media. Sainath’s articles on rural poverty, depressing financial position of Indian farmers, pathetic state of the Agricultural sector etc…. are eye openers.
Sainath’s recent articles ‘Decadal journeys: debt and despair spur urban growth’ and ‘Census findings point to decade of rural distress’ shows his concern about immigration of rural population and the rise in Urbanization. Sainath’s 1200+ words article pricks the middle class and pours empathy with the rural. Sainath’s circuitous bout on the middle class has forced me to write this post.
It’s not hard to guess the real monster behind all the mess of immigration of rural population etc… according to P.Sainath its Liberalization (or Capitalism), as always Sainath has one answer for all the problems, even though they are very thinly related to the actual problem. I am not a JNU student to give unconditional support to Sainath’s views nor am I an Entrepreneur to reject it completely. I am not a Economist by profession and not a political analyst but with my knowledge which I gained with my experiences I think I have just enough privileges to express my thoughts.
I come from a middle class family- both the families of my father and mother are from Agricultural background. In 2001-2002 one of my friends uncle who is a farmer in rural Andhra Pradesh visited Hyderabad, those days LG TV’s had high brand value, they were making good marketing in television channels and my friends uncle saw the LG TV advertisement and enquired the cost of this high end LG TV and wanted to buy it on that day. My friend was in a state of shock and was curious to know that how his uncle being a farmer can have so much money. This was the state and the financial position of a farmer at that time and to add, there is a state in India where almost every agricultural family owned a high brand car.
Today the situation of farmers is not like the above mentioned, the migrated rural farmers now work as chowkidars in urban apartments’ and gated communities. Such unbelievable drop of status of a farmer will make every human being ponder about the plight being experienced by them but the irrational heart and lazy brains push the blame on capitalism or the Liberalization which happened 20 years back.
One will absolutely agree that the Indian middle class acted as a spring for Capitalism and people like Sainath will now and then take a sarcastic dig at the middle class for the plight of the poor – plight of the farmers, to be precise. The rhetoric displayed always succeeds when it comes to attack the middle class. There are very few intellectuals, columnists, politicians who refer to the hardships of the middle class. It’s because they are not like the masses where the veto power rests, they are not like the fashionable elite which represents dignity and status.
The legitimate corruption mission called NREGA instigated by NAC and propagated by UPA worked wonders for politicians and gave good money to many but the burden of it is still being carried by the middle class, can anyone economist say that NREGA didn’t cause inflation? Even the highly designated people of the Planning Commission have agreed that NREGA has boosted the inflation. The rise in petrol prices, LPG etc…. are the rewards of the same policies – even this will have to be handled by the middle class. The middle class which pays the taxes promptly doesn’t have the luxury of swindling like the elite with political help or can’t call themselves poor (A middle class Indian definitely spends more than Rs.32 in a day) or show them as the victimized.
The rural to urban migration is a matter of concern and the obvious reason for this phenomenon is due to the neglected Agricultural Sector. People who blame the Capitalism for the all the problems of faced by Agricultural sector never mention the actions of Government and especially the states, no one questions the economic fascism by state governments on the agricultural sector. The old rules which still apply on the movement of raw agricultural products from one state to another, from one district to another. The closed dubious trade which only benefits a few. A farmer doesn't have the freedom or right to sell his hard earned crop, he has to wait for government's nod and the astute display of statism when the government decides the market price of the crop.
A beggar will ask for your help until he is a beggar, the minute he becomes self-supported he is no more a beggar and he will never ask for your help. This is what the governments have been doing to get their symbol pressed on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM). The popular and socialistic schemes are the magic wands – they will always work unless one becomes really enlightened and seeks for self-support. Corruption is not because of Capitalism, please spare the hard-workers and catch hold of the socialist crooks. Refer the below links.
My only request to all the socialists and left liberals is not to drag the middle class Indian who has mastered the art of survival in any given Draconian situation. Please carry your problems, insipid ideas and imprudent solutions to some other place.
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