Sunday, February 21, 2010


Over the years our farmers are slowly but surely alienated from their land and the crop, production and the produce, yields and its pricing, its sales and marketing, from its consumer and the corporate, thanks mainly to the greedy and unethical middlemen who have sapped the farmer's very existence and their symbiotic relationship with the Nature - all in the name of, to boot, science and technology.

The soil is corrupted by the chemical manure they are asked to use and what is worse, they know nothing about the stuff they use, they are made to depend on the supplier and when the supply were scarce as it happened some time ago, it was reported that the shortage because of stoppage of import from abroad due to non payment. The dependency of the farmers are unending. They have to depend on others for the supply of seeds. They have to depend on yet another for the pesticide. They can not directly reach the consumer with their produce, it has to be given to a so called regulated market, they have no say in its pricing and returns. Their dependency and unfamiliarity in the forming process, allegedly to enhance the yield and to prevent pests, has thoroughly and totally alienated them from their own elements that shaped and nurtured their existence since time immemorial. To make the matter worse, now the genetically modified foods/seeds are being thrust upon the farmers. The study with a few variables alone, even they are related to food and crops, can not be a sufficient proof to advocate for its use as nothing exist in isolation in nature and each is interlinked and interdependent such as crop with soil, soil with forest, forest with rain, rain with Sun and so on and any genetic modification of any single entity would have repercussion on all that exist - sarvamidam protam sutre manigana iva / everything exist like pearl strung on thread says Krishna in Bhagavadgita. Hence, just because a modification of a single or a group of genes resulting in better yields and pest resistance has no meaning because it would eventually produce havoc in all it related links such as human body, plants and trees, water and soil, air and atmosphere, none of those variables and their impact on ecological balance are included in their study of genetic modifications. How can that be truly scientific studies? Does it not amount to yet another fooling of our farmers and exploitation of their ignorance that further alienates them from the true understanding , grip and power on what they are doing in the field? No wonder farmers are committing suicide or leaving their land and village to towns for their - though degrading and humiliating - livelihood in the cities.

There were times when the land is in total bonding and control of the farmers. They used to raise cattle and the layers of dung and leaves used to form manures. Organically nurtured soil and crop in an unpolluted environment/atmosphere that had ecological balance were a natural resistant to crop pests. Farmers were autonomous, they carried and sold their own goods and they were in full control and responsibility for what they do. Theirs was an honorable existence full of dignity and usefulness. All that has been robbed to day by the middlemen under the label of science to quench their selfish and merely self seeking greed.

It is time that we restore our farmers their dignity of life and stop their eternal dependence and alienation caused by non farming middlemen under the guise of helping farmers. We must help farmers to be independent, self regulating, autonomous and with all such things that empowers them to be skillful and efficient rather than borrowing them from aliens! Let us all - scientist and technologist, businessmen and traders, politicians global players - help farmers to be self reliant and self sufficient for the good them as well as of us as we consume what they produce, helping them is helping ourselves too. We must all come forward and take initiative to protect and nurture all that is connected to our living in health and peace. Life is more of interdependence than independence and dependence, we are all intextricably connected to all that exist.

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