By Anang Pal Malik
In India, average salary of an engineering graduate, fresh from college, is between Rs 15000 to Rs 20000 per month, and it is easy to hire them at salary as low as Rs 10000 per month.
Farmers in India are committing suicide, both in areas where crops have failed because of drought or unseasonal rains (for example in UP and Maharashtra), and in areas where crops have been very good (for example in West Bengal).
Both above facts are the results of the same phenomenon; in fact they may even said to be linked in a cause and effect relationship.
Of course at least in the case of latter, column inches upon column inches are being filled in our dailies, and news TVs are airing the news prominently, holding panel discussions, and telecasting special programmes. All ending with lamentations that government is failing the farmers of the country, and instead, is taking away their land, their only means of livelihood, and giving it to Corporates.
The columns and all the news on TV, and posts/discussions on social media, betray only one fact: that the educated in India, including the columnists and TV news editors, commentariat and intelligentsia, professoriat and bureaucrats, and politicians; are all economical illiterates and totally unaware of real India and her problems. The clever in India pick up some catch words, learn to profess fake sympathy with the unfortunate, and in a sea of medicocrity that is India’s ruling elite and the educated minuscule population just below it, happily go about parading their ignorance as knowledge and learning, and thus controlling the narrative.
The socialists who took over India from the British, and have only run it further into ground, and created both the problems listed at the beginning of this article, are advocating more socialist measures to solve these problems, unchallenged. The Delhi ruling elite has become an echo chamber, in which the Left’s narrative passes as high knowledge. Nobody in Delhi’s ruling class ever ventures outside this echo chamber, nobody even peaks outside, and nobody learns economics. They have no idea as to what money is, where it comes from, where it goes; what jobs are, how jobs are created, and where they come from, and where and why they disappear. In fact they have successfully convinced people that we have already created enough and needed prosperity and the only problem that needs to be solved is that of just and fair redistribution, for which they, the Leftists, need some more powers, some more laws, and some more government rules and regulations and departments to enforce them. This in a country in which only 3 crores out of 125 crore pay income tax, and in which per capita income is less than 1/30th of the developed world, and only about 4 percent hold jobs in the organised sector.
First about the starting salaries of engineers in India. The salaries are so low for the simple reason that there are more engineers chasing very few jobs, and the companies which hire them make very low profits because there are very few people who can afford to buy their products. The people who can afford their products are few because there are not enough modern economic actvities in India which enable people to earn enough to buy those modern products.
Farmer suicides are also not the results of land acquisitions or modern agricultural practices having destroyed the old agricultural economy of organic manure and own seed. Nor have any “climate change” forced the use of pesticides which lead to farming becoming expensive and thus leading to farmer indebtedness and thus suicides in case of crop failure/crop glut.
The only fact that has landed the country’s farmers in the situation in which they are, is never mentioned. And that fact is that because of the population explosion of last 75 years, when developments in modern medicine made life expectancy in India comparable to the developed world, the land holdings per family in India have become almost 1/20th of what they were before independence. So, though modern practices like artificial irrigation, use of better seeds, fertiliser, and pesticides; have meant that the yields have increased to the level that a country that was not able to to feed the 40 crore at Independence is successfully feeding the 125 crore people now, and is even exporting food grain; but per capita farm incomes have plummeted to the level that every crop failure or glut means that farmers are bankrupted to the extent that many take their own lives.
This has happened because socialism has made sure that industrialisation of India is always comatose, so hardly any population has shifted from subsistence agriculture to factories and service industry. Therefore, even as the developed world has seen almost 99% of its population not working in agriculture now, in India, the percentage of population dependent on agriculture is still close to 60%. And the Leftists who caused this catastrophe of far more people dependent on land than it can sustain; through their use of control on narrative in India are successfully making sure that this fact never comes to the knowledge, is never discussed, and is therefore never gets remedied. In fact they successfully sweep this under the carpet, by enacting some new socialist programme whenever situation becomes explosive, e.g. MNREGA, thus postponing the day of reckoning by few more years.
With the change of government in New Delhi, which is though Nationalist, but is almost equally Leftist in its economic outlook, the Leftists have smelt the chance. Their game plan is to escalate the matters to collapse, by blaming the present government for the consequences of 67 years of socialism. This will solve two problems for them: they will be able to get rid of the present government which they viscerally hate, and they will gain many more decades to continue their destructive socialist programmes by claiming that they need to time to repair the damage done by the “pro-Corporate” policies of the present government; pushing the country into abyss in the process, from which it may never climb out, and may most likely cease to exist in its present form. The lack of touch with the ground which the present government is displaying, and its lack of conviction as far as market economy is concerned, are only making the job of the Leftists easier.
And so we see endless repetition of the lie that the amendment to the Land Acquistion Law would lead to transfer of land from the farmers to the Corporates, that the present government is anti-farmer and pro-rich.
Earlier the farmers did not commit suicides in case of crop failures or gluts because each family had enough land to have many different crops. If cash/grain crops failed, the fodder crop would make sure that the farmers could survive by selling milk and ghee from the livestock they maintained. In fact the livestock would survive on grass, even if all crops failed. In extreme distress, farmers could still survive by selling livestock. Now a farmer family typically owns 2 to 5 bighas of land, and to increase income from this meagre holding, use better seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides; all purchased normally on credit. Ox and plough have nearly disappeared as present generation does not want to use them, so cost of use of tractor and other machine driven implements also make planting of crops a costly affair. Therefore a crop failure devastates the farmer. There was one more back up earlier. Unseasonal rains typically destroy crops in one tehsil/district, leaving adjoining areas largely unaffected. The farmers in the affected areas could seek help from the relatives in non-affected areas. With nobody now having any surplus, even relatives are not able to come to the rescue.
The only soultion, it should be clear by now, is to increase land holdings per family. The only way to do that is to take people off agriculture, and absorb them in primary, secondary, and tertiary industry. The only soultion is rapid industrialisation of India.
That also brings us to the first problem listed at the beginning. If somebody opens a car showroom in a tribal village, he will sell no cars, because residents of the village would not have enough money to buy the cars. For the simple reason that they do not have any surplus income, because they live a life of subsistence. The point I am trying to make is that in a society, it is not possible that a segment takes to modern economy, and others can continue to live in a primitive economy. A manufacturer, howsoever good or efficient he is, will not survive if people in the society are not working enough to generate surplus incomes sufficient to buy what he is manufacturing. A service provider will not survive if there are not enough people generating enough surplus incomes to pay for the services he is offering.
The Leftists have made sure that a very large percentage of Indian population lives at subsistence level. Therefore there are not enough purchasers for the kind of goods industries employing engineers produce. Therefore there are not enough industries that could employ engineers. And so we have more engineers than we have jobs for them. In desperation, they accept salaries as low as Rs 10000 per month. In fact there are enough B Tech and MSc persons competing for group D jobs of government. Because they get such low salaries, in downstream they are not able to buy other products and services. So there is no expansion of modern economy in India.
Industries in India have been strangulated, in the past by outright licensing and production quotas, and now by regulations, inspector raj, arbitrary rules; and now most viciously, by capricious, totally arbitrary, and subjective environmental regulations. Anybody can go to some Court and through a PIL block some upcoming industry, or even get an existing, running industry shut down. Courts, which are said to be creaking under the load of pending cases, seem to have all the time for PILs.
Now we have Green Tribunals which are banning activities we have been doing since time immemorial, blocking environmental clearances, and even withdrawing clearances already granted. Clearances which nobody should need to obtain in the first place.
People not absorbed in modern economy are known to survive by cutting trees and by hunting animals in the forests. So all the Environmental establishment of India is achieving is making available to timber smugglers and poachers unemployed youth to hire for these illegal actvities. Destroying forests and causing extinction of species it professes to be trying to save.
Leftists are pastmasters at concealing the real causes of problems they create, and demanding even more power to themselves to solve the problems they created.
And therefore they are blaming farmer suicides on the Land Acquisition Bill which is yet to be passed, or on the Capitalism which they have made sure never takes roots in India. Media is controlled by them, academia is manned by them, bureaucrats are afraid of them, politicians love socialism in any case because it creates huge avenues of loot; so there is nobody who could call them out on all the destruction they have caused and are causing. They would claim that Rs 10000 per month salary to an engineer is exploitation, never telling that they have made sure this, by ensuring that there are not enough industries in India which could employ engineers colleges are producing.
We have all this talk of skill development, making education universal, etc., never bothering to think where we would employ all the skilled and all the educated. For example, Kerala has most educated persons in India, but it has no jobs for them, because it is a Leftist haven, and therefore Kerala-ites are forced to emigrate to work in some of the most dangerous spots on the earth.
In a sane world we would try to find out why a country gets industrialised, and do whatever it takes for industries to come up.
Land Acquisition Bill and planned urbanisation are being demonised with claims that they will finish farming in India. There are fully industrialised and urbanised countries in the world, with only 1% population engaged in agriculture. Therefore it should be readily possible to calculate the percentage of its area a country needs to become fully industrialised and urbanised. But discussion on facts is something the Left hates the most. So emotive cries of “Farmers’ land is being snatched and is being given to the Capitalists, forcing farmers to commit suicide” are used to drown out any discussion on facts. The Leftists who form majority even in the NDA are of course go along.
To prevent farmer suicides and ensure proper salaries for our educated, we need immediate and massive industrialisation. For that to happen, we must make sure that on the ease of doing business index, we are number one in the world, not 142nd. To achieve this we must do whatever it takes. After all, to achieve this all we need is dismantling of the regulation, control, permission, and clearance regime. Doing so would in fact save us money that we spend on the massive bureaucracies engaged in administering this regime.