Farmers commit suicide on the 66th Anniversary of Independence!
Four farmers of the Vidarbh region committed suicide on eve of the 66th anniversary of Independence. They have been driven to suicide due to failure of their crops twice in a row. In this year alone, the number of farmers dying in this manner has already crossed 518.
Vidarbha is such a region of Maharashtra where most of the farmers are still dependent on rain water. It is well known that the whole area suffered from drought conditions from January to May this year. Then it was inundated by rains, and the Vashim and Yavatmal districts witnessed flooding in which more than 170 people died and about 1 lakh citizens were rendered homeless. Soyabean, rice and cotton crops standing on 50 lakh hectares of land were washed away. The total damage has been estimated to be more than 20,000 crores across the entire region.
Peasant organisations are repeatedly pointing out that the help that was promised last year was given to very few farmers. This time when the Maharashtra Chief Minister visited this area, he assured the Vidarbha farmers that they would be given Rs.2000 crore worth of assistance. However, according to the Vidarbha Jan Aandolan Samiti, even 3 weeks after the visit of the CM, the establishment has not started any investigation in these areas. And where the revenue officials have toured, farmers are raising disputes with the officials since the officials are hugely underestimating the losses.
This is the condition 66 years after Independence. Most of the farmers are farming with the mere hope that the rain gods will cooperate. However, one year the crops burn out in drought, and then there are such heavy rains in a few months’ time that their second crop gets washed away. Similar phenomenon can be witnessed in many areas of the country.
Is there no way out of this vicious circle? There is a way! Adequate technological developments have taken place in our country that can break the vicious circle. However, all technical knowledge is used to fill the vaults of the big capitalists and their hangers-on. For example, in Maharashtra alone in the last 10 years, Rs.80,000 crore have been spent on canals, and dams, etc. Yet, the suicides continue. It is the responsibility of all the toilers, and especially, the working class to ensure that those who produce food to feed the entire population are not themselves crushed by the crisis. On behalf of the Mazdoor Ekta Committee, we condemn the Maharashtra government for forcing the peasants to commit suicide.