Thursday, 2 February 2012

Farmer Suicides In India

Libertygrl posted this important question in The Couch Forum 
Currently there are almost 20,000 farmer suicides in India per year.  Some people claim that efforts at sowing genetically modified crops have brought about economic ruin which are allegedly to blame for the suicides.  However, this suicide trend has seemingly preceded the advent of GM crops, and the rate of increase has remained consistent.  Any thoughts as to what may be at the root of this disturbing trend?

I responded thusly:

Human greed to possess more and more is at the root of this problem. The society is not divided into three parts called poor, middle-class and rich but in two parts Power- Elite/Oppressed. In India you have people whose next 10 generations can afford their bread and better without having to practically work for anything even for a single day, OTOH there are those who earn as meager as a sum of 20 rupees ( roughly less that .5 dollars per day) a day. 

I am not well educated on this matter, but two things stand out:

1. As you have already noted well, the GM crops have not much to do with already extant suicide trends, though they might have exacerbated the situation.

2. I smell something in these suicide reports at times. It's a tool by opposition against ruling party and there has not been done anything substantial to eradicate this problem.

Majority of votes come from 60% farmers and educated people do not exercise their electoral power and hence swaying the opinion of majority paves a way for opposition for at least next 5 years' rule.

Unpredictable Monsoon in India seems to have wreaked havoc on poor farmers who are unaided by Science.  

Another irony is: Farmers who could never have earned a sum of 1 lakh rupees ( .1 million rupees) by cultivating crops do find that their families are given this sum once they commit suicide. This is tragic and reinforces thanatose. I don't think that this is a vital theory but it has some elements of truth in it.

A similar case might be: Donating a kidney or any other good functioning organ of value by a poor man to win the bread for his destitute family.  

Since it's an ongoing discussion, I would update this post as we get more details. Even you can participate in the discussion over here