The survey team called to say that the villagers had come and stopped the survey. “No work related to the plant X will be allowed.” They had declared. Plant X was in operation for a decade and wanted to expand. The villagers had been given fair compensation. The land where survey was planned amounted to few more double digit acres.
I ordered the team to leave the area. You hire people to do survey, not to die.
I knew that they had blown the compensation on liquor and to live a life for which they were not working. Money gone, they just wanted to extort some more.This is the story now all over India. “Farmers” can now come and stop any project for any length of time. Four times the cost, or eight times the cost, whatever one gets paid will run out someday if not invested and instead used for daily expenses of a life which only the families with high regular income can afford. Not much of a mob is required, hardly a dozen are needed to paralyse the sarkar.
Trade Unions were concentrated in West Bengal, Kerala, Mumbai, Modinagar, and Kanpur. But “farmers” are everywhere, all over India.
And the plants which escape the sights of farmers catch the fancy of NGT. Or numerous Pollution Control Boards, Or Pollution Control Authorities. Or courts. The lower courts, the higher courts, or supremely higher courts. Some time they all come together to pin down the industry.
Then there are over 150 clearances, permissions, and NOCs to obtain. Then a dozen more new Acts to comply after every parliament session.
And after all these efforts to kill Capital Creation come the never ending crop failures, and loan waiver programmes to consume the accumulated Capital. Weather was always like this, capricious. I remember many childhood summers when harvested wheat came under a heavy downpour before it could be thrashed. People used to salvage whatever they could. Or sugarcane flattened in a hailstorm. But nobody ever thought that government would or should compensate them. Suicide over crop failure? Never, never heard of that till 1980s.
Loans had disappeared by the time my generation came on the scene, because of Green Revolution. Otherwise debt was a constant of life for thousands of years. Again nobody ever thought that government would “waive” off those loans. Now the debts are back, and this time not because of the loan-sharks, but because governments waive them off every five years. Sometime sooner.
Then farmers’ children spend about ten lakhs to get an Engineering degree, only to queue for sanitary workers’ jobs. With applicants to posts ratios in the range of 1000 to 1. Population dependent on agriculture still remains above 50%. The figure is 1% for all the developed economies. Imagine the same ratio, and farmers’ income would increase 50 times in our country.
But for that farmers’ children need to be absorbed in industries, and for that farmers need to not beat up the survey teams, or not gherao an existing plant or an ongoing work to extort some more compensation. First the Leftists consumed five decades of the country, and before they were overthrown, they infected the “farmers” with a deadlier strain of the same virus. And why farmers, every time I post about the PhDs queuing up for peons’ jobs, the “economists” on social media jump in with long posts about how the “education standard” can be improved and how that will solve the problem. For at least last 15 years I am writing that industries, trade, businesses give us jobs, not our degrees. But the song never stops: “Spend more on education, and problem of unemployment will be solved.”
The Leftists with the saffron flag are as clueless today as they were during those five decades. They sincerely, most sincerely, believe that they can make Socialism work because they are honest as against those Lootians over there. Many in fact hate prosperity and believe in the ideal of a self-sufficient village populated by the subsistence farmers.
Chile, Columbia, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran…….. media doesn’t tell you. Hungry mobs are burning cities everywhere. France, and Europe, is now relatively quiet. Because it has no unemployed youth because it actually has no youth. The “youth” it is importing are not interested in jobs. Welfare does it for them. Nobody can control a hungry mob. Not even the man who has almost wiped out terrorism and scrapped the 370, and is about to give the long cherished grand temple. Did he not hear the age old wisdom of his own countrymen: भूखे पेट भजन न होत गोपाला………
Knowing all this, even now one can survive only by numbing the mind. But I doubt even a numb mind will be able to withstand the catastrophe of the return of the Lootians. Because next time they come, they will come to tip us over. राम भली करे।