A happy farmer near MHOW, Indore

When one travels by road or rail in India, it is such a pleasure to watch green pastures flit by. Thankful for a chance to stop on the way back from Paataal Paani in MHOW, MP, we yielded to the standing invitation of verdant countryside to stop and quietly appreciate the hands that till and toil hard for our tables to remain supplied.....

Indore district has plenty of seasonal potato cultivation. We could see expanses of the plants in various stages, while driving through to tourists spots in the district. Eyes sore from cities' concrete jungles, one cannot have enough of watching welcoming green acres, and we stopped to talk to a proud farmer, Mr B, who willingily shared details of his 'bread and butter'. We came away from the fields as contented as that smiling, optimistic land care-taker.

As a keen follower of P Sainath's articles and reports on the unhappy farming households of (mostly central) India, and the figures that always bring tears to the eyes, Gandhiji's words are always in my mind - "India lives in its villages". And the family is happy to watch 'Krishi Darshan' 'Pon Vilayum Bhoomi' 'Krishi Deepam' and reading the 'Agriculture' pages in the newspaper.
[Of the rural farming situation in India, Sainath has said - "The agrarian crisis is about a much wider rural distress. It's a crisis driven not by drought or natural calamity as Mr Sharad Pawar has said in the Parliament. And he didn't use the word crisis. It's a crisis driven by policy; global, national, local. Ok, why did this happen? It happened because through the reform years, we've been diverting resources, we've been robbing the poor to pay the rich. Now I cover guys who commit suicide because they're not able to get less than 10% interest on Rs 8000 crop loan. I go back to my urban middle-class home in Mumbai where I get an invitation from my bank 'buy a Mercedes Benz, no collateral at 4% interest'. So if you're buying a Mercedes Benz – unproductive expenditure – you pay virtually no interest. If you are the food producers, you're paying two to three times that interest. That's the sheer injustice of it." ]

Would that our Government let all our farming communities, nation-wide, be as happy and contented as Mr B.

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