Thursday, May 3, 2012

വരള്‍ച്ചയെ ഇഷ്ടപ്പെടുന്നവര്‍

എല്ലാ ഭാരതീയരും വായിച്ചിരിക്കേണ്ട് ഒരു പുസ്തകം P. Sainath ന്റെ   “Everybody loves a good draught”.  ഇതൊരുപക്ഷെ ഇന്ത്യയെ കണ്ടെത്തുന്ന ഒരു പുസ്തകമാണെന്ന് പറയാം.  But I did want to escape What Swami Vivekananda once described as the propensity of the Indian elite to discuss for hours whether a glass of water ought to be taken with the left hand or the right hand.  So the focus remains  on people and their problems……….. Millions are eating less.  How does that constitute a reform?  The availability of food grain per person in this  country has declined.  Per capita daily net availability of cereals and pulses fell from 510 gm in 1991 to 461 gm for 1995-96 – the government’s own data show us that.  Inflation has crushed agricultural labour.  Their real wages have declined.  But there’s a 37 million tone surplus of food grain of which we can all be proud.  The sleeping bag syndrome at its best……International funding agencies are using NGOs to dump fertilizers, harmful contraceptives and obsolete technologies.  Even for corporate market research.  NGOs are sometimes created for this purpose.  There are groups in this country that have tried to push ‘drip irrigation’ in districts that have abundant rainfall.  They hawked a technique used for the deserts of Israel (in regions not lacking in rain) because some corporate had something to sell.  Besides, in India, many NGOs are contractors for government schemes………Mangal Sunani was thrilled.  The government was giving him a miracle cow which would greatly reduce his poverty.  The cow would be impregnated with Jersey semen-brought all the way from Pune and elsewhere.  So it would, over the years, make him the proud owner of several bulls and high-yield milch cows………….Two years and 2 crores later, “ just eight crossbred calves were born in the entire region.  Not  one extra litre of milk was produced.  And subabul trees had vanished from the area, though they were planted in thousands”……..A decade later, the results are even more stark: many villages across Komna are without a single stud bull.  The castration drive has rendered the local ‘Khariar bull’ extinct –in the region at least……….