Sunday, April 24, 2011

To hell with the World Cup and IPL

Our farmers are dying, to hell with the World Cup

Yes, you read it right; to hell with the World Cup; to hell with the celebrations; to hell with all the free land and money being showered by different governments on the players. How can I jump, scream, have gallons of beer and cheer for the nation when a few kilometres away the farmers and feeders of my country are taking their own lives in hordes?

Do you know that, on average, 47 farmers have been committing suicide every single day in the past 16 years in our shining India — the next economic power, progressive with nine per cent growth?

Last month, on March 5, Friday evening, when Bangalore's watering holes were getting filled up, when all the DJs were blaring out deafening music, when we were busy discussing India's chances at the World Cup, sitting in CCDs and Baristas — just 100 km away from Bangalore, Swamy Gowda and Vasanthamma, a young farmer couple, hanged themselves, leaving their three very young children to fend for themselves or, most likely, die of malnutrition.

Why did they do it? Were they fighting? No. Were they drunkards? No. Did they have incurable diseases? No! Then WHY? Because they were unable to repay a loan of Rs 80,000 (a working IT couple's one month salary? 2-3 months EMI?) for years, which had gradually increased to Rs. 1.2 lakh. Because they knew that now they would never be able to pay it back. Because they were hurt. Hurt by our government which announced a huge reduction in import duty for silk in this year's budget (from 30 per cent to 5 per cent).They were struggling silk farmers and instead of help from the government, they get this! Decrease in import duty means the markets will now be flooded with cheap Chinese silk (as everything else!) and our own farmers will be left in the lurch.

On average, 17,000 farmers have been committing suicide every year, for the past 15 years on the trot. Can you believe it? Most of us wouldn't know this fact. Why? Because, our great Indian media, the world's biggest media, are not interested in reporting this! Why? Because they are more interested in covering fashion week extravaganzas. They are more interested in ‘why team India was not practising when Pakistanis were sweating it out in stadium on the eve of the match?' They are more interested in Poonam Pandey.

The media are supposed to be the third eye of democracy and also called the fourth estate, but now they have become real estate. Pure business.

So any attention from the media is out of the question. Who is left then? The government? But we all know how it works. The other day, I was passing by Vidhan Soudha in Bangalore and happened to read the slogan written at the entrance, “Government work is god's work”. Now I know why our government has left all its work to god!

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa announced plots for all the players. But land? In Bangalore? You must be kidding, Mr. C.M.. So he retracts and now wants to give money. But where will it come from? Taxes, yours and mine. Don't the poor farmers need the land or money more than those players who are already earning in crores?

A government-owned bank will give you loan at six per cent interest rate if you are buying a Mercedes but if a poor farmer wants to buy a tractor, do you know how much it is charging him? Fifteen per cent! Look at the depths of inequality. Water is Rs. 15 a litre and a SIM card is for free! For how long can we bite the hand that is feeding us? The recent onion price fiasco was just a trailer. Picture abhi baaki hai doston!

In 2008, Lakme India fashion show venue was in a Mumbai five-star hotel and was covered by 500 journalists and the theme was ‘Cotton'. A few hours drive from there, cotton farmers were committing suicide, 4 or 5, everyday! How many TV journalists covered this? Zero!

Sixty-seventy per cent of India's population is living on less than Rs. 20 a day. A bottle of Diet coke for us? The electricity used in a day-night match could help a farmer irrigate his fields for more than a few weeks! Do you know that loadshedding is also class dependent? Two hours in metros, 4 in towns and 8 in villages. Now, who needs electricity more? A farmer to look after his crop day and night, irrigate, pump water and use machines or a few bored, young professionals with disposable incomes, to log on to Facebook and watch IPL?

How can we splurge thousands on our birthday parties and zoom past in our AC vehicles and sit in cushy chairs in our AC offices and plan a weekend trip to Coorg when on the way, in those small villages, just a few minutes' walk from the roads, someone might be consuming pesticide or hanging himself from a tree for just Rs.10, 000? How can we?

There was much panic when there was swine flu. Every single death in the country was reported second by second, minute by minute. Why? Because it directly affected our salaried, ambitious, tech-savvy, middle-class. So there were masks, special relief centres, enquiry centres set up by government to please this section. On the other hand, 47 people are dying, every single day for the past 15 years. Anybody cared to do anything?

It has been observed that within months of a farmer taking his life, his wife follows, either by poisoning the kids first or leaving them on their own. In Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, a distressed woman farmer went to the government seed shop, bought a bottle of pesticide, on credit, went home and drank it. She was under debt for most of her life and now — even her death was on credit!

Centuries ago, there was a Roman emperor, called Nero. He was a strong ruler and also very fond of parties, art, poetry, drinking and a life full of pleasures. Once he decided to organise a grand party and invited all poets, writers, dancers, painters, artists, intellectuals and thinkers of society. Everybody was having a great time eating, drinking, laughing, and socialising. The party was at its peak when it started getting dark. Nero wanted the party to go on. So he ordered and got all the arrested criminals, who were in his jails, around the garden and put them on fire! Burnt them alive, so that there was enough light for the guests to keep on enjoying! The guests had a gala time though they knew the cost of their enjoyment. Now, what kind of conscience those guests had?


What is happening in our country is not different from Nero's party. We, the middle-class-young-well-earning-mall-hopping-IPL-watching and celebrating-junta are Nero's guests enjoying at the cost of our farmers. Every budget favours the already rich. More exemptions are being given to them at the cost of grabbing the land of our farmers in the name of SEZs, decrease in import duties in the name of neo-liberal policies, increase in the loan interest rates if the product is not worth lakhs and crores. Yes, that's what we are, Nero's guests!

I'm not against celebrations. I'm not against cricket. I'm not against World Cup. I would be the first person to scream, celebrate and feel proud of any of India's achievements but, only if all fellow countrymen, farmers, villagers also stand with me and cheer; only if they do not take their own lives ruthlessly, only if there is no difference between interest rates for a Mercedes and a tractor. That would be the day I also zoom past on a bike, post-Indian win, with an Indian Flag in hand and screaming Bharat Mata Ki Jai. But no, not today. Not at the cost of my feeders. Until then, this is what I say. To hell with your malls. To hell with your IPL. To hell with your World Cup. And to hell with your celebrations.

(The writer's email is: naren.singh.shekhawat@


  1. Shock of Reality4/26/2011 07:36:00 PM

    Credit problem!!! I was wondering is this problem is associated with the poor only or not? Even as a rich if I fail to give the EMI on my house loan then I suppose the bank will take it from me. And then if I decide to commit suicide then will it be government’s fault? I wonder did 17,000 farmers every year (as you said in your post) those who committed suicide did all of them fail to repay their loan?
    I wonder should our media only telecast the sad story of the people? Or should they also give us some joy on such world cup or ipl victory?
    About the electricity, I live in a city and I pay 4.5 Rs per unit, where people in village pay 1.5 Rs per unit. And even though the price is so low in village there is 70% electricity theft in those areas. So I was wondering why I should feel sorry for those people? Why should I get less when I pay more?
    Last but not least
    They story you said about Nero is thermodynamically impossible. If you put any mammal /human on fire, It won’t light up as you said. So I think there are lots of lie in your documents then the real fact. And that’s why I am suggesting you to open your mind/eyes and see things in practical way.

  2. administrative skill is necessary to solve every problem .our indians don't know how to solve the issues in our country.For example naxalites are killing CRPF constables and informers.Why they are not ready to kidnap Marathi politicians? If you kidnap a politician and should ask him about his past and development,we can control corruption.After that kill him.For example Gaikvad family from Sholapur.One person from that family is JOINT RTO in MUMBAI.Now their asset is crores.They own kochi IPL.His salary is maximum is 50000 please decide how to tackle the problems.Purpose of revolution is welfare of the society in all level.

  3. Its not completely true.. think we are the champions.


  4. Shock of Reality said...

    what a comment its true

  5. We are champion ? What the use for those people who are still hunger, nacked and homeless. Yes it is very enjoyable for those people who has lot of money.

  6. Shock of Reality5/07/2011 01:25:00 AM

    We are champion ? What the use for those people who are still hunger, nacked and homeless. Yes it is very enjoyable for those people who has lot of money.

    As long as I know MH Dhoni didn’t win the cup to eradicate the poverty of this nation. He won this neither for the rich people nor for the poor one. It just a big game, lot’s of country take participate in it and we celebrate because we won.
    I might be wrong, but I think if you like cricket then you can enjoy it in empty stomach, but if you don’t like cricket then it doesn’t matter how rich you are, you won’t care about who won or loose.

  7. Sorry, you don't have seen to those people, you cann't experience proletarians lives, it is just of story or filmi kahani for you.

  8. Shock of Reality5/08/2011 09:35:00 PM

    Well I don’t know how you came to this conclusion that I am filmi or I haven’t seen the poverty of the people.
    The night when India won the world cup I saw poorest people from the Basti run around with the national flag. I think they knew that this victory over cricket field won’t change their lifestyle, but they still want to celebrate it with all their might, where my boss (rich person) stuck to his desk and keep working till midnight. When I ask him about his opinion about this victory, he told me that he don’t like cricket so he don’t care who win or lose the game.
    So I think you don’t have to be rich or poor to enjoy the game of cricket.

  9. Extremely true. But I dont see the need to fret for a worldcup after the common wealth games!!

  10. Shock of Reality5/17/2011 02:52:00 PM

    well I think common wealth games failed to deliver the thrill that worldcup gave us. and that's why most of the people were excited about worldcup.

  11. You didn't see the so called true communist state. CPI M is communist in name only. what they did in Nandigram has already discredited their slightest relations with being communist... you haven't heard or read what happened in Nandigram or, Lalgrah for that matter and, if i provide you a couple of links would you seriously read'em?
    Re your statement up there it is alright. The capitalism has no mercy on any one. But for example in this belly of the beast USA they started doing foreclosure but, the police did not dare to evict people from houses by force for fear of rebellion. And by the way over 13 or 14 trillion, that is billion with another three zeros, dollars the US has debt to the world since instead of paying for products it buys gives rest of the world bonds that are false values, with a smile and, of course, threat of Nuking opponents. You care for the poor? join the revolutionary students or one of the Naxalite supporting coalitions please. I? after certain things and a bullet happening in the past, i have a single eye that cannot see that well and, one eye blind and, i merely make enough money to pay my rents. fasting helps usually some months. but if i was healthy and knew some language and, could be of help sure, i'd jump to be in Dandakaranya if i could... i am not sure you know, not everybody has the guts and determination to stand the way they have stood to liberate themselves from this obsolete system. Do i like violence? not a bit. But if V.P Singh as he neared death chose to think like a Naxalite, then democracy he'd dealt with in that society was obviously too rotten and unbearable for a person from a rich background and ending up a political figure of that land. Yes. from Singh to .... Saket Rajan, those are my heroes who although had seen comfort and richness but, stood for the poor. As they would say in Spanish: Viva La Guerra Popular En El India!!!

  12. OK, I haven't seen a true communist state, Great!!! Have you seen one? plz name it, Plz name a true communist state.

    & yeah I don't know anything about nandigram & lalgarh!!! I live 80 km away from nandigram & lalgarh, So you think you know better then me? don't forget you read news, and I see news with my own eyes.

  13. The way people were shot by CPI M was either right or, it was wrong.
    The way people were defending themselves and, their land was either right or, wrong in Nandigram and Lalgarh.

    You could be either for CPI M that shot people or, not for them. If CPI M did wrong, then people who, through the process became Naxalite supporters' new generation were correct. Then fine, support them. And if you do condone the way CPI M shot the people then, what problem you have with that line?
    You are twisting the truth to propagate a democracy that buys and sells votes of the people. That democracy is pure lies. Vote for me and have this color TV, is not a new game. It is all over the world. In a world that the market and fallacious democracy based on supply and demand where productions are based on wants and some people's desires and weaknesses rather than needs of all the people is a killing and leading humanity to absolute decay and pollution there is no other way but, building another system that is based on needs of all people and having everybody released from class and racism, sexism, caste, religious and other differences. There is no other way and, when there is a class differences, the closest to an event naturally sees it different from others from others who see it from class viewpoint. Your stubbornness in commendable, pity you belong to incorrect class line. all i can hope is to see more progressive browsers around here, including an improved you.
    If you cannot change, I kindly warn you to care for yourself since, this is a battle that sooner or later takes the whole India and the world, if human survives at all to establish communism. It is never too late to accept the objective truth. take it or, beware of the results. bye

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Where is the answer of my question?
    OK, I haven't seen a true communist state, Great!!! Have you seen one? plz name it, Plz name a true communist state.

    and what makes you think a person who don't like communism wold like CPIM?

  16. If true communism existed, i'd be there. on the other hand, communism is not an exact imaginable item. It is to to give to each according to there needs and,,,

  17. Well I am glad to know that you finally learned the truth, that true communism doesn't exist. But you don't know one thing that true communism will never come in future, and there is a big reason behind this. But at this moment you are engulfed by the hatred so much that you can't see the fundamental flaw of communism. So explaining this to you will be waste of time, and I am not interested to wake up a person who sleeps with open eyes.
    It is to to give to each according to there needs and
    At this moment I need a big house, a SUV and something around $25000. Can your communism give me that? (Just Kidding)


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