Over at the Sunday Guardian, Anang Pal Malik writes that land acquisition is not the cause of Farm Distress in India. Instead, lack of industrialisation has led to a situation in which more people are dependent on agriculture than can be gainfully employed in it. Therefore, rapid industrialisation is the need, and for that, land acquisition should be easy and smooth.
“Farmer suicides occur not because of land acquisition (not even 4% of Indian land is under industry) or modern agricultural practices having destroyed the old agricultural economy of organic manure and own seed. Nor has “climate change” forced the use of pesticides that led to farming becoming expensive, pushing farmers into debt and eventually to suicide in case of crop failure/crop glut.
The population explosion in the last 75 years because of developments in modern medicine made life expectancy in India comparable to the developed world. As a result of this explosion, the land holdings per family in India have become almost 1/20th of what they were at the time of Independence. Modern practices like artificial irrigation, use of better seeds, fertiliser, and pesticides have increased yields to a level that this country, which was not able to feed 40 crore people at Independence, is successfully feeding the 125 crore people now, and is even exporting food grains. However, 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, our ruling philosophy for the last 60 years, has made sure that industrialisation of India remains comatose, so only a very small portion of the population has shifted from subsistence agriculture to factories and service industry. Therefore, even as the developed world has almost 99% of its population working outside agriculture now, in India the percentage of the population dependent on agriculture is still close to 60%.”(from the article)
Read whole article here.