farmers suicides

I'm currently touring Vidarbha region and at the moment in Amravati, keying this post.

Much to my surprise, newspapers here have stopped playing farmers suicide stories on page-1, which earlier used to be flooded with such things. The centre in its unprecedented move has announced a farm package of Rs 60,000 crore, but the (farmers) suicides haven’t stopped. They won’t. Farmers from this region of dry land are least to gain from the present state of package since its provisions prove adverse for them from getting benefit.

I think it was all well thought. First to announce the package. The package, that will go in favour of certain people only. Then let the non-beneficiaries lament. Then people like Sharad Pawar, Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul would reassure those who are left out. And finally Mr. P Chidambaram will come up with the altered package.

It’s just a usual ploy. First to create a situation wherein people will be forced to die. Then offer them little and ensure that issue doesn’t get resolved. And when finally the people will actually start dying, offer them little more. Common man will finally come under the influence and say, wow, this government is really great !.

Anyway, I'm writing this post to make a different point altogether.

What I was saying was suicides stories in the local media have been replaced by the small protests over load shedding. Ofcourse load shedding is big issue in rural Maharashtra, but then is it even bigger than human casualty ?.
So, have we as common man lost our sensitivity or media here no longer find the issue news worthy?.

I asked couple of my journalist friends from Nagpur. Their reply was shocking. Initially I thought its the comman man of Vidarbha, who has stopped paying much attention to such issues. I can understand. People do get bored after some time - the same we have witnessed about terrorist daily taking toll of kasmiries.
Of late I doubt besides security agencies, does anyone really read those news carefully.

But no, in suicide issue, I was wrong. If the government data is to be believed, of late, the money going out from government treasury as an instant compensation for suicide-hit family has thinned despite the fact that cases keep coming more or less with the same rate.

Then I had my friends telling me that it has become a trend to commit suicide and demand compensation. When I did a story on the same issue in western maharashtra some two months back, government official there too told me the same thing. "Why should government compensate if he - doesn't matter even if he is a farmer - commit suicide for reasons like addiction of wine and woman or gambling"?, an IAS officer incharge of one of the district in western maharashtra, asked.

And today it's mohammed wajihuddin, who in his
article appeared in Sunday TOI has pointed out the same thing.

So, few minutes back when a friend of mine based in US asked me that how much is the level of substance in TOI story, I have two answers.

Either the people reporting or reading the issue have lost their sensitivity or perhaps those who are in crisis, themselves have lost sensitivity to the real problem and trying to take the advantage of the situation forced upon them.

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