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Monday, February 19, 2007

Twice more farmers commit suicide in India than top 100 suicide countries put together!

7000 farmers commit suicide in India in the last 3 years!!!
That is an average of over 6 farmers committing suicide per day! more than 2300 per year!!

In a country of 70 million farmers, it is ten in every 100,000 farmer committing suicide. This is higher than the total national suicide (remember apart from farmers there is another 30 million Indians) as reported in Wikipedia, which unfortunately doesn't rate suicide based on the occupation of those committing it. Anyway it uses 1998 data for India!

If we take the listing of Wikipedia to be true, then the number of farmer's committing suicide in India is more than twice of the total number of suicides being committed in the top 100 countries (including India) on the suicide list! If this is not a matter of national emergency what else is?

The US Government and President needs to explain to its citizen every time there is more than one death of its military personnel in Iraq, and there have been 3000-0dd deaths since the beginning of the war. When did you see the PM last talking anywhere or explain what is wrong with the farming segment though we know that we have lost two times that of the US army in Iraq and more.

Retail 'boom', Budget discussion, summer heat, World Cup and Aishwarya wedding will start to crowd the public mind and they will forget the farmers issues can be a convenient calculation for the political babus to indulge in. This morning a farmer attempted suicide in front of his chief minister, that too just as the CM was claiming that there were no suicides in his district! What a form of protest!!

This protest of Indian farmers must be the most cruel in agrarian history (there doesn't seem to be a precedence of farmers committing suicides at this rate!?). A news item rates the seed company as the worst serial killer in history. Perhaps so. But, this suicide is a form of cruel protest no free government can witness so helplessly. A leader of a group of volunteers when he goes to Delhi cannot even meet with the Finance minister (called the Sensex minister), while the worst of the suicides happen at the home district of the Agriculture minister.

Its time that the world realize that this too is a form of violent protest, as violent as the war on Iraq or the attack on WTC. There is a sense of helplessness in the act of suicide, but, there is also a courage that is intrinsic. It may not be the salt satyagraha where the marching phalanx of protesters offered themselves willingly to the British batons, but, this is no lesser in significance, a silent suicide satyagraha - the only one that a poor isolated farmer could resort to, to exercise his power on the last will that he commands over.

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