By Anang Pal Malik
The wooden plough that was passed around on the dais of Congress rally on Sunday the 19th April, 2015, spoke loudest about the destruction caused by Congress during last 67 years, about its vision of us Indians, about its ignorance of present day reality of farming in India, about its total loss of touch with farmers and their land.
That this was not noted by any media persons, talking heads in the studios, and even by opposition; also tells us that whole ruling elite of India inhabits a different planet, alien to this land and its present state. Or if they noticed, they are so indebted to The Dynasty that they did not want to let facts intrude on this make-believe world of Congress in which it can actually think of itself as a farmer sympathiser.
After all, if Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, the cronies, the retainers, the so called state leaders of Congress who conduct them around in the countryside to watch damage caused by unseasonal rains, etc., had actually tried to know present state of Indian agriculture, they would have known that this plough has all but disappeared from our villages. There are very few men left in villages who can actually plough the land with a wooden plough, and almost nobody younger than 30 years has even tried his hands on a plough in the areas North of Delhi. In vast swathes of India, and especially in the regions Sonia Gandhi was conducted around during recent weeks, tractor long ago replaced plough.
If they had brought a model of tractor to the dais, it might have made some sense, but to do so they needed to know this transformation in the farming practices.
Of course Indian farmers are in deep distress. They find that they own only 1/10 to 1/20 of what their great grandfathers owned, and not because the land got acquired and factories came on that. For the simple reason that population grew.
The farmers of India find that number of dependents on land are increasing, and the only way out from these walls closing in on them, the jobs in manufacturing, service sector and trade are just not there. Because the National Green Tribunal not only does not allow any new factories, it is closing down even the existing ones, and with the Land Acquisition Act of 2013 nobody would try to set up a factory in India in any case, and as a result there is nothing that could support a service sector, and not only industrial products are not there to trade, even the trade in their own produce, the trade in farm products has been killed by government controls. Few village boys who became truck drivers are also back in the village because their trucks have been banned by the National Green Tribunal.
The Congress with that plough played a cruel joke on Indian farmers, told the boys in the villages that in the Congress vision of their future, they have to be at that plough, and there forever, always on the verge of starvation, driven to suicide at each crop failure.
That plough, like a Freudian slip, brought vividly that Congress never had any model of development in mind in all these decades. It wanted farmers and their children to be pushing that plough, was expecting them to be still pushing that plough, and expect them to be at that plough forever. Even as they themselves holiday in Europe, drive around in SUVs, and live in air-conditioned environs. In 1947, in India politicians did not holiday in Europe, did not drive around in shining SUVs, did not have air-conditioning in office or at home. So even as they acquired these trappings of development and prosperity, for the children of farmers they still have that plough their grandfathers had in 1947.
Of course the children of farmers may not accept the future Congress has in mind for them, the life at wooden plough. Only, when they decide to make loot-ians Delhi hear what farmers’ children actually want, it may not be as orderly as that astro-turf crowd at Ramlila Maidan was on Sunday. It may be the tsunami that would sweep these successors of Marie Antoinette deep into Indian Ocean. It may be just another coincidence that Marie Antoinette was also known as Deficit Queen of France. After all, Sonia Gandhi also piled on deficits on India through the freebies she legislated in the bid to win the third term.