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An endless melancholic story of Indian farmers

by Ram Kumar Mishra, India, 02 April 2013
Rural villagers planting a new crop of rice paddy in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu, India. photo: mckaysavage

A big legendary story writer and novelist Munshi Premchand is known as a realistic and heart‐deep touchable story‐ teller of Indian farmers. It is because Munshi Premchand has painted the actual phenomena of pessimistic and pathetic condition of Indian farmers into his story‐canvas. Though Munshi Premchand did not indicate towards solution into their stories and novels, yet it made readers to think about solution by raising many queries into readers’ mind. It is not that only Munshi Premchand has portrayed the exploitation of the Indian farmers, the other story writers too, who have written well and did try to convey farmers’ an endless combat with life and debt of money lender.

Whereas many writers and politico‐sociologists have given suggestion too, for comes out from that endless cycle of heinous debt and land lords’ assaulting behavior. But those suggestive story writings are unable to reach and touch that extreme point of realization towards pitiable saga of farmers as much as Munshi Premchand’s writings do.

It is said that if one wants to understand Indian farmers in real sense, he should study Munshi Premchand’s ‘Godan’, a novel and ‘Poos ki Raat’ a short story. His most of the creations explain illiterate, un and under skilled labors’ and farmers day‐ per‐day’s struggle to their live with system and society.

We know all this, even agree too that farmers are backbone of the Indian economy, instead of it, this important sect have been avoiding far the pre and past independence of the country. It can be said that it was a consolable time when Green Revolution occurred in India, this revolutionary cyclone brought an unbelievable change into old age established system, but not this do not work as much as the expectations have and failed to leave its permanent effect.

This is an open fact that about 60 per cent countrymen earn their living through agriculture and more than half of the countrymen spend their most of income on food arrangement. If we believe on fact and figures that says about 600 million people are such, who come under this figure. Our urban centric law makers always have ignored these farmers and they always remained in alternative position in the view of national policy makers. It might be, cause of agriculture contributes only about 14 per cent to India’s GDP. Let’s see this fact in another way. Whereas 600 million people working for 14 per cent of the economic output, then why these polite policy makers will concerned about this “unaffected” number. Perhaps our worries towards these numbers are unprofitable to the policymakers and we are getting a sense that something is wrong in policy system.


Till the date, ownership of the land is highly skewed in the country. Most of the land in a village has acquired by one or two man of the village, where most of the villagers have to do hard work at daily‐pay scale. A report of NSSO has enclosed that just 2.5 per cent households in rural areas operate almost a third of the land. On the other hand, 80 per cent of households operates less than a hectare land of each. Beyond this, 80 per cent people of the total are such who have no land. This 80 percent landless army are unskilled to work in industries, they have to work in agriculture.

Farmers harvesting paddy near Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India. photo: Arul Prasad

It is said that there is law to take over land in excess of prescribed ceilings have been still on paper in concerned offices. Survey reports says into this matter that since independence of the country 3.68 million hectors land was declare surplus land under land ceiling law, in which 2.3 million hector land had taken over and 1.8 million land distributed amongst 5 million people. It is another issue that data presented by various government, non and semi‐ government institutes are not believable with closed eyes. In this regard we all know that survey always do not show the real graph. But it does give a glimpse of fragmented and skewed nature of agricultural land holding in India.

All accepted efforts which have executed till the day, have proved a drop in the ocean in respects of its aim. Government shouting that it has done many amendments and tabled recommendations in existing laws to wellness country’s farmers. But what had happened? Government totally failed to stop the crucial exploitation, physically and mentally harassments by land lords and money lenders. Well, if something has changed than, that is the form of debt collection. In the old days land lords and money landers used to grasp the whole farm product and debtor’s property. But now, the form of collection has more fatal and merciless, now the landlord and money lender do take farmers’ life in place of their debts.


* Related Article: कब दूर होगी भारतीय किसानों की समस्या ? >>

image: User:Amog

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