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You turn to talk

You turn to talk
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First Published: Mon, Jun 04 2007. 12 18 AM IST
Updated: Mon, Jun 04 2007. 12 18 AM IST
This refers to ‘Farm to fork at the right price’ by Anjani Sinha, Mint, 31 May.
The writer says the benefits of the Green Revolution were reaped by Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. I believe it bypassed Madhya Pradesh and covered only Punjab, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Tamil Nadu. Madhya Pradesh has advanced in soya bean and wheat cultivation (it grows export quality wheat in some parts) in recent years, but this is not due to the Green Revolution.
More important, he partially attributes the recent farmer suicides to the fear of the wrath of the local moneylenders. I feel the writer has erred in this. Recent studies point to just the opposite! To elaborate: In the last few years, the traditional village moneylender has been replaced by the now omnipresent ‘input dealer’. This shift in the dynamics of the village economy has made a critical difference in its functioning. Since the input dealer has virtually no roots in the village (whereas the traditional moneylender had), he is completely detached from the happenings (functions, rituals, etc.) as opposed to the traditional village moneylender. The village moneylender, being a part and parcel of the village and its woes and worries, used to make that critical concession when it came to the question of life and death. This concession is not given by the input dealer—not because he or she is not “humane”, but due to his absence from the village! I am in no way defending the village moneylender as an institution, but only trying to make the point that correct reading of the changing dynamics in the ground level situation is critical in arriving at prescribing appropriate policy prescriptions.
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First Published: Mon, Jun 04 2007. 12 18 AM IST
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