The Hindu carries a report today in which Maharashtra’s Chief Minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh, comes to the same conclusion as Stuffed and Starved: Farmers’ suicides happen all over the world.
But that’s where the similarity ends. For Deshmukh
“The goal is to fully rehabilitate the farmer,” Deshmukh said adding the state government was striving hard to ensure that farmers get the market price for their land and employment to a family member.
Suicide is a crime in India and, even if dead, the farmer is a criminal. ‘Rehabilitation’ for the dead farmer means that the (usually-male) farmer’s family gets paid, and then sent to the city. Or to one of a humber of ‘special economic zones’ – of which the state of Maharashtra has the highest number in the country. From the field to the maquiladora, from the devil to the deep blue sea. There’s little chance that the Minister could concieve of rural change owned and driven by rural people, and with income redistribution concomitant with that. But then this kind of myopia is also, sadly, global.
Full story here