Leftists in India are throwing around a lot the words “Farm Crisis.” Their theories run on the lines that Indian agriculture has stagnated, and the government is doing nothing. And the urban Indians, economically illiterate as they are, and like all Indians, oblivious of the world around them as they are, have joined in the tearfest.
Indian agriculture is indeed in crisis, but neither the crisis is what the Leftists are making out it to be, nor the solution is what they are suggesting.
There are three places in NCR -NOIDA, Faridabad, Gurgaon. All the three regions were dirt poor. People found it difficult to marry, as nobody would like to marry his daughter in the villages in the region. Land was barren in all three regions, water was salty in case of NOIDA, and land was rocky in case of Faridabad abd Gurgaon, and water scarce. They mostly survived on animal husbandry, selling milk in Delhi. Then some bad ugly Capitalists decided to create industrial towns in all the three regions. All the land of the villagers was “confiscated,” and given away to industrialists. Did the villagers starve to death? Was the livelihood destroyed? No, villagers in all the three regions are now richer beyond their wildest dreams. And no, they were not temporary richer when they received the compensation, they continue to be rich, quite a few have invested the initial compensation in deposits in banks, those who blew it, are not doing bad either. All villagers rent out their premises to migrant labour and earn good amount. Their children all get jobs in the factories around them. Industrialization has transformed the three regions. That is the power of industrialization. There is not a single landless labourer in the villages of western UP. Not a single. No, they have not been rendered jobless by tractors and tubewells that transformed the villages in the region. They all work in the nearby towns in various jobs. Farm labour used to come from Eastern UP, then from Bihar, and now all farm labour comes from West Bengal. Because folks from the eastern UP and Bihar have moved up in the chain and work as watchmen in the metros, and some have gone on to California also, to write software. There is a crisis in the villages, including in the villages of western UP, that has appeared in the last decade. But that has not been brought about by the industrialization. That has been brought about by the absence of Industrialization. That has been brought about by the Socialism that came back with a vengeance in last decade. Socialism that did not just slow down the indsutrialization, but has almost killed it, in league with Environmental NGOs. And so, growing population is not being taken off land. One acre agricultural land can barely sustain a family. Put a factory on it. It will support 1000 families. That is the power of industrialization. If only urban, educated Indians would read the books on Economics…….