Quest: Six tenant farmers attempted suicide, and among them two persons died few days back, in a village in Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, as the Government snatched away their livelihood, for auctioning them to maximise income. Telangana State is not lagging behind, in farmer suicides. One farmer by name Anjanaiah committed suicide in Godal Village, Balmur Mandal, Mahabubnagar District, Telangana. How will you solve this problem?
Ans जवाब జవాబు: Within the framework of Capitalism and Feudalism पूंजीवाद और भूस्वाम्यवाद परिथि में పెట్టుబడిదారీ మరియు భూస్వామ్యవాద పరిథిలో
Not possible to solve this problem. यह साध्य नहीं है। ఇది సాధ్యం కాదు.
Reason: Agriculture in India today, is highly monetised, and highly risky. Farmer has to buy all his inputs by paying money. Seed-quality, wageries of monsoons, pests, decide his fate. A week's dry spell is sufficient, to spell doom for him-her. Or a day's down-pour is adequate, to ruin him-her. Till 1947, farmers were not buying their inputs. Their farm animals, dairy animals, small animals (sheep, goats, etc.), biomass of trees in compounds, used to meet the needs of their manures. They used to produce their own seeds. For tilling their lands, they were not hiring tractors. They were either using bio-pesticides or no pesticides. As population was very less, their landholdings were large. Even after payment of 1/4, 1/3 of produce as taxes to State, they used to have surplus for consumption. All their daily needs used to be met by their farm, dairy and farm animals, small animals, domesticated fowls, vegetables grown in the home, etc.
Farmers were not incurring huge expenditures on children's school fees, electricity bills, cable TV bills, petrol for bikes, hospital expenses, cinemas, wineshops, domestic gadgets, cell phones. Today, everything is to be paid in Cash. Irrespective of crop failures, they have to generate cash for all these payments.
Consequently, borrowings both from institutional lenders, and non-institutional lenders, have become inevitable, at very high rates of interests. They borrow at rates as high as 60% to 120% p.a. from village money lenders. Our large industrialists make a hue and cry when Banks raise interest by 0.25% points. Our industrialists never borrow at rates of 60%, 120% p.a. It is a very profitable business for landlords in villages, who have good land records and land titles, to borrow from Banks and re-lend to small, marginal and tenant farmers, at usurious interest rates.
When the small, marginal and tenant farmers, fail to repay the loans, landlords and private money lenders abuse and insult not only the farmers, but also their family members. This ill-treatment, becomes unbearable, when there are series of crop failures and marketing problems, continously.
Of course, the Andhra Pradesh Government has announced an ex gracia of Rs. 500,000/- to the kith and kin of the deceased farmers. But this is post mortem, intended to subside media criticism and public outcry.
Question, प्रश्न, ప్రశ్న: Your knowledge seems to be bookish, and does not appear to be based on field-level facts.
Ans: I have worked as a Bank Field Officer both in Palnadu area (both dry and wet), as well as the Capital Region area (dry farming) of Guntur District and both dry and wet areas in Mahabubnagar District. I had also the fortune of working near Godal village, Balmur Mandal farmer suicide place, quoted above. Whatever I have written here, is based on hard realities learnt by me through close interaction with the farmers. Of course, it was about three decades back. But, the agricultural situation in India can only worsen year by year, as the population has doubled to 1.3 billion, and the lands got further fragmented.
Another unfortunate development during these three decades is: owners of lands have migrated to Cities for gainful businesses and occupations, like Government employment, trading, setting up industries, even for idle residence in the guise of children's education. In the process, they have become ABSENTEE LANDLORDS with passbooks and title deeds in their namess. Actual cultivation is done by oral tenants who do not have any written proof of their status. The Revenue Officials in the villages and the Mandals also do not change the names of the actual cultivators in the land records for three reasons: 1. The Revenue Officials cannot get proof of absentee landlordism. 2. They get annual bribes from the absentee landlords for continuing the land records in their name. 3. The village elders pressurise the Revenue officials to continue status quo ante. In the circumstances, tenant farmers become orphans in village unprotected by anybody, though they pay large amounts as rents for the land. The tenants cannot get Bank loans, as their names do not appear anywhere. The absentee landlords or the lazy landlords take the bank loans, showing the land records. When Govt. provides input subsidies, flood relief, drought relief compensations, agricultural debt relief, everything is pocketed by the land record holder, who has all the where-with-all to satisfy the bureaucrats administering the Govt. benefits.
Institutional lendings are misused by land-title holders and large farmers. Informal usurious lenders are none other than the absentee landlords and lazy landlords, who have a nexus with Banks and Govt. Officials.
Small and marginal farmers, as the quantum of lands in their own names will be very less (too small for sustenance), take more acres on oral lease. Thus small and marginal farmers often play a dual role of owner-farmer and tenant-farmer.
Summary: Existing feudalistic, Capitalistic system is not conducive to the welfare of small and marginal farmers, tenant farmers, and agricultural laborers in villages. Landholders do not reside in villages.
Question, प्रश्न, ప్రశ్న: How to solve the problems of small, marginal tenant farmers and agricultural laborers in a Total Socialist / Marxist set up, which you are keen on spreading?
Ans: All activities of production of goods and services both agricultural and non-agricultural sectors will be only in Government Sectors. There will be no private lands, businesses, industries, service institutions. Everything will be only in public sector. All risks in every activity are borne by the Government.
Question, प्रश्न, ప్రశ్న: You mean to say that there will be State Capitalism! State Capitalism failed in Communist countries and Socialist countries in the past!
There were no truly Total Socialist or Marxist countries in the past (also present). All those were dictatorships. Dictators will be interested only in their own luxuries and comforts. They have nothing to do with the welfare of the people, except when there were temporary crises and upheavals. For success of Total Socialism or Marxism, democracy of proletariat is an essential prerequisite. The proletariat should be sufficiently enlightened. The proletariat should be free from alcoholism, religion, and superstitions. Homogenization and paradigm uplift of proletariat needs to be developed at least for 20 years through enlightened teams of proletarians.
Radical changes such as removal of private property, abolition of currency notes, minimisation of number of private vehicles, abolition of private shares, abolition of banking system, have to precede or to be simultaneous with introduction of Total Socialism or Democracy of Proletariat. All this has to take place through ballots and elections only. There can be no place for violence. Every member of the proletariat should develop his awareness levels, and help other members to develop their awareness levels. Educational Institutions, Media, could have tremendously helped in this task, but they cannot do it, simply because they are owned by Capitalists and they have a stake in continuing the present exploitative set up. Why will they raise the awareness levels of the proletariat?
Question: Do you support the Andhra Pradesh Government's opposing the Palamur Project launched by the Telangana State?
AnsIn Total Socialism: This problem will not be there, as entire agriculture whether irrigated or unirrigated will be in Government Sector. Where to irrigate and where not to irrigate will be the headache of the Govt. There will be no private farmers.
Ans: In Capitalist Set up: Palamur Project need not be objected to, as long as the equitable distribution of water is managed by the Central Government, and not left to the hateful KCR & Co.
Central Government should have a clear policy on to how many kilometers distance from the River bank, water can be carried to. It should not under any circumstances allow the water to be carried to long distances, without first satiating the water needs of all the dry areas adjacent to the rivers. It will be immaterial whether they will be in Telangana or Andhra. For example without completely irrigating Wanaparti, Gadwal and Achampet areas, water cannot be taken to Ranga Reddy, Medak, Nizamabad, and Adilabad. In the same manner, without satisfying all the needs of Anantapur, Kurnool, Prakasam, Guntur adjacent to Krishna River Banks, water cannot be allowed to be taken to Cuddapah and Chittoor. Similarly without completely wetting Khammam and West Godavari Dt. dry areas, East Godavari dry areas, Visakhapatnam dry areas, Godavari water cannot be transported to Vijayavada, and then to Chittoor. Mr. Chandra Babu Naidu (his predecessor Rajasekhara Reddy) and Mr. Devineni Umamaheswara Rao (A.P. Irrigation Minister), KCR & Co. seem to have this selfish-motives, to take the River Waters to their own constituencies, while leaving all the fields near the River Banks to get scorched. River Banks should get priority. Earlier this was not possible because rivers were flowing in low vallies, and Telangana lands, Rayala Seema lands were in high-elevation plateaus. Now that, we have modern methods like Lift Irrigation, Tunnel Digging, we cannot continue the old method of releasing all the water only to Deltas. Conversely, the Delta farmers too have to discontinue their practices of wasting water. They have an erroneously belief that more water means more output which is not always correct. Even in Delta areas, the farmers who have their fields near to Canal bunds, do not show any mercy to farmers having their fields at tail ends. Consequently, tail end farming has become worse than dry land farming. A dryland farmer clearly knows that he must depend only on Rain God, and perform marriages to frogs. A tail-end farmer's life is haunted by uncertainities. We can write 1000 pages on this topic.
(To continue सशेष ఇంకా ఉంది.).