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Opinion Punjab -- the land of one farm suicide a day

Discussion in 'Punjab, Punjabi, Punjabiyat' started by kds1980, May 4, 2009.

  1. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    BATHINDA: Punjab's revenue records show that some 130 farmers committed suicide between 2000 to 2007. Grassroot organisations put the number at 20,000 plus. Now, after the Punjab Government commissioned a survey cum study by the PAU, Ludhiana, it has come to light that some 2,890 farmers and farm labourers in just Bathinda and Sangrur killed themselves in the last nine years in distress because of farming crisis of indebtedness.

    That is approximately one suicide every day. About 87 per cent of them were small farmers and agricultural labourers.

    The study was done door-to-door study and the report is now with the Punjab government.

    The PAU report says that of the total number of suicides, 1,757 were by farmers and 1,133 by agricultural labourers.

    According to the study, in Bathinda, 773 farmers and 483 labourers, and in Sangrur, 984 farmers and 650 labourers ended their lives. About 65 per cent of the suicides were due to indebtedness. The remaining 35 per cent were due to “other reasons”.

    However, farmers’ organisations are not ready to buy the argument of “other reasons”.

    The phenomenon of suicides by agricultural labourers has surprised intellectuals, economists and farmers’ organisations. Of the total suicides, 37.89 per cent were by agriculture labourers.

    “Suicides by labourers have been happening for a long time, but the debate has focused on farmers only . Nobody paid any heed to their misery since they were among the poorest of the poor,” said Lachchman Singh Sevewala, general secretary, Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union.

    Agriculture labourers’ organisations say the main reason behind these suicides may not be indebtedness but the hopeless life labourers are forced to lead due to the agrarian crisis. The collapse of traditional farming and the public distribution system had made the labourers completely dependent on market whims.

    The study also says that as per the rural population proportion, more suicides have taken place in Bathinda than in Sangrur. This puts a question mark on the argument put forward by some scholars that the suicides were due to economic distress.

    They said Sangrur was not the most backward district of the state as far as agriculture was concerned. However, this new study says that the maximum number of suicides took place in the cotton belt.

    29 April 2009
     
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  3. Amarpal

    Amarpal
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    The suicides can be for many reasons. Just because it is done by a farmer it does not becomes because of his way of earning.

    These suicides can be because of indebtness or due to other reasons. The other resons are because of the social set-up and the way of living. The idebtness can be because of extravagant spending in normal life or on family events/ occasions. It can be because of the loans taken for doing the farming and in ability to pay because of bad harvest for various reason despite the farmers best care of the crop.

    It is the last aspect alone that should be the cause of social sympathy and consequent help.

    The statistics should bring out clearly the cause behind all these.

    With love and respect for all.

    Amarpal Singh
     
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  4. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Amarpal Ji, Gurfateh.

    The Punjabi "Farmer" and the Salaried worker ( example) have the same types of "spending"...daughter's wedding, sons wedding, etc etc...
    ONLY difference is the Farmer waits for his CROP..to earn. For any number of reasons..the CROP may come up ZERO....floods, hailstones, fires, eelctricity shortage, water shortage, no fertilsier, bad seeds..etc etc....BUT the SALARIED ONE..will continue getting his salary..like clockwork..1st of every month.
    SO NO CROP..NO EARNING..and the Farmer still has to come up with MONEY for next CROP..seeds, fertilisers, labour..etc etc....and THIS has to be BORROWED....to pay off the PREVIOUS FAILURE..and IF by chance a SECOND CONSECUTIVE FAILURE happens...then thats when the SUICIDE is the only way out.
    The salaried worker will alwasy have his salary... even if he overspends..he cna cover up...BUT NOT the poor FAMER..especially wehn he is being LOOTED left, right and centre...by the Seed Merchant, fertilser shortages, seed shortages, exactly happenign when tiem to PLANT..while Prices of CROPS FALL exactly when time to SELL. I personally followed one season...Potato planting season..seed potatoes sky high....when time to sell..potato prices fall so much not worth to pay labour to gather crop..let it rot...then its tiem to plant Surajmukhi...almost on the SPOT surajmukhi seed prices SKYROCKET....but six months later when time to plant POTATOES..potato seed prices touch the clouds !!
    THIS is MANIPULATION by vested interests...just see how the GRAIN SACKS by the MILLIONS lie under the sky at godowns in Punjab..waiting to be paid for...no buyers..BUT SEED prices are already going UP for next planting...

    The Farmer is at a perennial DISADVANTAGE.
     
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  5. dala

    dala
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    ****** british empire is the root cause. It will take many decades for povery to be expelled from punjab.
     
  6. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Really ??? the British Ruled Punajb for ONLY 90 + years.. ( Independence has already passed the 60 year mark....so another 30 will equal british raaj )
    while the Muslims/mughals/ ruled for 1000 years...!!!..
    Could the British do in 90 what the Muslim Invaders couldnt do in 1000 ??
    and why we cant reverse it in 60 ??
    a Bad workman always blames his tools...Its Indias "modern" economic policies rooted in the socialist/communist/marxist Nehru's Centralisation etc that are at Fault. Had India goen fully Capitalist..it would be the way ahead..not almsot Dead horse like the famous USSR it treated as a God.
     
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  7. Hardip Singh

    Hardip Singh India
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    Sir,
    I fully agree with your observations on the subject but will like to add two more crucial points. The main reason is their spending on 'Nashaa". The moment some good amount of cash flow is generated even by means of loans, the next stop of the formers from the bank is at the Liquor vend. The other major portion of these so called loans goes in paying old debts and hardly any cash is left for the real venture.
    It's the irony of their so called fate. Not even 5% of the total loans disbursed are used for the genuion spendings. I have been long associated with the PSU banks in rural sector fundings and recoveries & hence, the real truth.
     

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