It is better to be a poor person in Botswana than in India, says Sainath

— PHOTO: R.V. MOORTHY

I just wanted to share this wonderful piece by P sainath, at the end of the piece please see how our future leaders are so much interested in the topic thats eating away our farmers and breaking their backbone. Dont they deserve more ? … Happy reading ?

A PErSPECTIVE: Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu P. Sainath delivering a lecture on ‘Farm Crisis: Why have over one lakh farmers killed themselves in the last decade’ watched by Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee in New Delhi on Thursday.

Here is a detailed lecture transcript from the archives of Parliament of India

NEW DELHI: The crisis in the farm sector is a national one and not restricted to some States. The suicides are just the symptom not the disease, said Magsaysay awardee and Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu P. Sainath while deliverin g a lecture on ‘Farm Crisis; Why have over one lakh farmers killed themselves in the last decade?’ in Parliament House.

Reeling out chilling statistics which revealed how India remained a land of poverty amidst plenty, Mr. Sainath said India had the fourth highest number of dollar-billionaires in the world; behind only the United States, Germany and Russia. “But, we are 126th in human development. This means that it is better to be a poor person in Botswana or the occupied territories of Palestine, both of which show superior human development indicators than India.”

Though India was an emerging tiger economy, life expectancy here was lower than in Bolivia — the poorest country of Latin America — Kazakhstan and Mongolia. India may have 100,000 dollar millionaires but 800 million in this country existed on less than Rs. 20 a day as per government data, he said, adding that “there is no such thing as Indian reality, there are Indian realities.”

Another contrast he brought out pertained to foodgrains intake. The last 15 years – which saw unprecedented prosperity among the rich – witnessed a decline in foodgrains intake. Quoting from the atlas of food security of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, he said in 1997-2002, India added more newly hungry millions than the rest of the world taken together.

“Hunger grew at a time when it declined in Ethiopia. A new restaurant opens every day in some city of this country but the average rural family is consuming 100 kg less than it did 10-15 years ago because that is the food availability situation.”

Mr. Sainath regretted the slow pace of tenancy reforms in the country. According to him, land reforms had been carried out properly by only a handful of States.

“It seems appalling to me that we can clear an SEZ in six months but we cannot do land reforms in 60 years across this country!”

He drew the attention of Parliamentarians to the growing expenditure on health as India now had the sixth most privatised health system in the world.

Another alarming phenomenon, he said, was the closure of as many as 3,500 banks in the rural areas — without which there would have been no Green Revolution in the first place — between 1993 and 2002. Ironically enough, while banks have systematically withdrawn from credit for the rural areas, they are increasingly wooing the upper middle classes.

Farmer suicides bore Rahul

Back to Section Stories Posted On Friday, September 07, 2007
mumbai news
Mail this Article Mail this Article Print this Article Print this Article Rate this Article Rate this Article
mumbai news

Damn! I should have slept on time like Mamma told me to
Now that’s an umm…er… interesting thought, old chap…
…Really worthy of deep meditation

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi seemed to have trouble keeping awake during a talk by Magsaysay award winner P Sainath on ‘Farm Crisis: Why have over one lakh farmers killed themselves in the last decade?’ at the Parliament Library on Thursday

Source: Mumbai mirror online

Shri Somnath Chatterjee, Hon’ble Speaker, Lok Sabha releasing the boo
k titled, “Indrajit Gupta in Parliament: A Commemorative Volume” brought out by Lok Sabha Secretariat in Parliament Library Building on 6 September 2007.

Source : Lok sabha speakers web site

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s