You showed them shimmering cities and a royal lifestyle. You brought them television broadcasts which show the good life. You told them study this and one day you will be able to go to the shimmering cities and lead a royal lifestyle.

    But then you forgot that someone needs to till the land, someone needs to be a black smith, someone needs to bake the bread, someone needs to cut the hair, someone needs to repair the farm implements, someone needs to milk the cow and the buffalo, someone needs to skin the cow and the buffalo when they are dead, someone needs to make pottery, someone needs to weave the cloth….

    And you systematically destroyed the village way of life and destroyed the village as a unit of existence. The village that never had to depend on a ruler, which could grow everything except salt has been rendered a desert.

    By making the villagers feed the cities on cash crops, the villager now buys tomatoes at the same price that we buy tomatoes in Bombay and Delhi and Kolkata and Chennai and Bangalore! He buys education at the same price as we do in our cities because you showed him that modern education can bring about lifestyle change, not that it does not, indeed it does but you never created enough opportunities for everyone.

    You made them dependent on money, something they had very little use of earlier, now they want money for everything and indeed everyone wants money for everything.

    In this quest for higher production you brought in terminator seeds that require them to buy seeds every time and introduced harmful pesticides and fertilizers that improve the yield but spread cancer.

    And all of this for what? So that corporations could thrive, they could produce and distribute their Lays Chips and Kurkere and Cadbury Silk Chocolates and Coke and Pepsi and Burgers and Pizzas to those who live in cities at the lowest cost of distribution.

    All of this in the name of progress and a better lifestyle.

    And what did you get in return? High Blood pressure, diabetes, obese children and adults, cancer and a horde of lifestyle diseases.

    And this is progress. Really?

    To correct an alarming situation where 65% of the population involved in farming is committing suicides and taking on bullets for crop failures and low support prices, immediate steps are needed.

    The reliance of farmers on money needs to be reduced. There should be a return to the village as a unit of development and existence with minimal external intervention. Prices for products and services that a villager uses should go down thus reducing their need for money.

    India survives today and it survived the 2008 financial crisis because of the fact that 65% of our population was disconnected from any financial turmoil. With an increasing emphasis on banking and money, the next melt down will affect everyone, like the demonetization did this time around.

    Government after government since 1950 have failed to address these basic problems as we rush headlong in ‘development’ ignoring the vast masses that putrefy at the bottom of the pyramid. 

    You can not have development until everyone in the country can afford three square meals and the poorest of the poor is uplifted.

    You can have Modi fests but the nation festers…..


    ​VINOD CHAND  ??

    The views expressed are solely those of the writer. The website may not subscribe to the same. 


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