Friday, April 9, 2010

Escape In Death

Farmer suicide is still a problem in India. Money lenders and the middlemen are squeezing the farmer dry. Now that land and stocks are transparent and online, it is time for farm produce procurement too to be streamlined. The process has started but has not reached most villages and does not cover all products. I hope the wait is short.


Limping through the jostling crowd the man waggles
Towards home and wife to tell the sickening news
Luxury and comfort a distant impossible ask
Survival and continuance a big question mark

The monsoons fail as in the preceding four years
Spurious seed and scantly sourced precious waters
His crop this year was meager reduced in quality
Middlemen like fine sieves waiting copiously

Value for produce never matches the effort
Farmer the last in line when the talk is profit
Never gains filter down to him who toils the soil
His life is drudgery with many waiting to foil

Benefits for hard-slog for blood sweat and tears
Snatched from him before his mouth it reaches
Lenders like hawks watch every movement
Ready to scoop-out any morsel money scent

A land of billions with deaths in thousands
Population and illiteracy perpetual scars
Haves and have-nots, the divide growing
Death here longed-for by many suffering

Hide and hole up a choice no longer available
Verdict pointing to only one direction feasible
End the torture from all encircled, humiliating
Whole family form pact to end misery alarming

Gulp down pesticide obtainable effortlessly
To never suffer from a plight, saved eternally
Such is the dilemma of farmers countless
In the land India, here death goes heedless

© Nalini Hebbar/openmind/2009 - all rights reserved
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magiceye said...


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Parth J Dave said...

Very poignant and tragic.

Everyone in busy in their own selfish work, and no one cares about that farmer who toils day and night to produce food.

Really nice poem, again, Nalini. I specially liked the last stanza..pretty thought-provoking!

Vinita Apte said...

really disturbing truth, especially so in Vidharbha where I come from. The cotton farmers have nowhere to go with the government turning their heads away from the farmers plight.This is the only way out for them :(

Karan Agrawal said...

Aaahhh what pain!

Hopw we get good monsoon this time... Nice work!

Pramathesh said...

Very effectively put, hope it reaches the right ears.

Lakshmi Rajan said...

Reality bites. In the name of economic hi-growth much importance has been given to industrialization, stock markets, IT at the cost of the common man of India who produces our simple but vital rice and wheat. As you said the process has started but it is painfully slow. The issue should be addressed at war foot since our 50% of population depends on Agriculture as source of income...

- Lakshmi Rajan