Wednesday, September 15, 2010

“Fertile lands should not be acquired for industrial developments!” – Sonia Gandhi (15th September 2010, 1150 Hrs)

Kudos to Sonia Gandhi for making such a statement at the time when India is not only losing poor farmers to suicide but also fertile lands of the farmers are being acquired by government and rich industrialists to fulfil their greed in the name of country’s developments! Like many others in the nation, I am optimistic about such a declaration by Mrs. Gandhi, however, it should just not remain a statement which made headlines in various dailies in the last few days. I only pray to hope that Mrs. Gandhi really means what she said and that she will make sure a law is soon tabled in the parliament to approve and enforce strict legislation at the earliest regarding this serious issue.

From 70% rural population, the surge in urban population has seen the rural belt being reduced to almost 50% (in 2011 census, the urban population is likely to take a lead for the first time since independence) in current scenario, a grave danger that many policy makers sitting in their air-conditioned offices are not even thinking about. What will happen when there will be no farmlands left, farmers, who either are killing self because of government policies and natural calamities or else losing farmers migrating to cities? Will these industrial developments by any means be able to feed the nation? Will the nation’s fast growth of 8.5+ GDP’s growth feed the billion plus population, as it is millions are dying of hunger when the nation has the audacity to allow food grains to rot to the tune of 58,000 crores?

The nation is fast losing the farmers’ population because of various reasons and no one, I repeat, no one is really even bothered about the catastrophic disaster the nation is heading towards. The Prime Minister, one of the leading economists in the nation has the audacity to admonish the Supreme Court’s humanitarian  decision to order the UPA – II government to distribute food grains free instead of allowing them to rot... how callous one can be! Dr. Manmohan Singh is the same man, who was begging to the whole nation to come in power once again and had said – “No need to worry about the drought situation, we have enough food grains to feed the nation. No one will die of hunger!” Once he came to power, due to his economic policies the prices of essential food items saw a steep increase that the nation has never witnessed since 1947, even snatching away the holy dal from the poor’s plate to make it a rich delicacy! What a shame!

Yes, he was right when he said the nation has enough stock of food grains but he has killed millions of poor hungry Indians by allowing the food grains to rot in FCI’s open-air godowns in the last one year. I only hope Sonia Gandhi’s statement is not a mere statement like our Prime Minister’s, otherwise, the catastrophe is going to see a situation that Mozambique had seen only recently. Yes, there were riots in the African nation because of food shortage created by various bigwig players, who control the food industry. Many died and all for the sake of food... imagine the NCW has not even revealed their 48-Hour Probe on Bundelkhand farmers selling their wives to feed their children even after 12 long months... how many 48 hours have passed in the last 12 months Mrs. Girija Vyas? Has Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi or else the Prime Minister even bothered to tell Mrs. Vyas as to what the nation has done for the Bundelkhand farmers? Why is the media silent after 12 long months after breaking the story last year?

While in urban cities, restoration of old buildings have become the priority of the state government to safeguard heritage structures by spending crores and crores... sadly, no one is even bothered to safeguard the fertile lands of mera Bharat mahaan! WHY? I wish to ask by safeguarding the heritage structures will the government be able to feed the nation. And what is the fault of poor farmers of the nation whose lands are being snatched away from them in the name of developments and are being paid a pittance? What will the farmers do when they have no land? These are some of the answers that Sonia Gandhi has to really think about and if at this juncture we are not serious to protect our fertile lands, the time is not far when there will be no farmlands left to grow food grains for the billion plus population. Will the industrialists grow food in their factories then? Points to ponder and act fast and seriously!

Green mountains are being turned into plane grounds almost everywhere in the country to disturb the ecological balance so that the poor will suffer more with natural calamities and disasters. Why no one is interested to safeguard our ecology... why is our Environment Minister Jayaram Ramesh only interested to safeguard forests, why not the mountains? I was shocked to see the mountain in Powai, Mumbai turning into plane grounds with none objecting about it... tomorrow you will see high-rise and malls and multiplexes in the same area... the lovely green mountain ranges near Navi Mumbai is being raped too and by 2011 it will become another plane grounds and so are the lovely green mountain ranges near Butibori, near Nagpur... if mining is a serious threat to ecological balance, the mountain ranges are equally important.

I do hope Sonia Gandhi will take stern steps to safeguard nation’s future by acting fast and firmly to safeguard the fertile lands, green forests and green mountain ranges for the generation next... otherwise even before the younger generation wake up from their fast paced life, they won’t have fertile lands to grow food for them and an environment that will be polluted for them to die in their early 20s...

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