Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Largest Wave of Suicides in History

This is from a blog called Progressive Rural India Forum, here’s an excerpt:

“The statistics are staggering. From 1998 to 2006, over 100,000 farmers have committed suicides. In Vidarbha, 3,000 farmers have taken their lives in the 1999-2006 period. Since June 2005, 2-3 farmers have been committing suicides every day. Yet you wouldn’t know that from the Indian media. Reports of farmer suicides and protests do appear in fits and spurts, but most of the media appears focused on the glitzy malls, the phoren fast-food chains, the luxury cars, the call centres and the hip lifestyles of the rich and famous.”

Wonder why we keep reading about the suicides by farmers in forsaken corners in our newspapers and not on the front pages. None other than crusading journalist P. Sainath calls it “the largest wave of suicides in history” in this article.


Jai Joshi said...

This is very disturbing. Why is nothing being done? Why is this heartbreak allowed to continue?


John said...

Hi Jai,

It certainly is heart breaking, but the authorities are trying to downplay the seriousness by suppressing the number of suicides. So if you throw figures at them they will point to some dusty document that say only 10 committed suicide which is the average.

It's a pity that we can't get authentic statistics in our country. But the correct figures are huge.

Thanks for the comment!


Hari Batti said...

I think this is one of the most important issues facing the country. If this many people were dying in major cities, it would be round the clock coverage. It's ignored because only poor farmers kill themselves and the urban media market is not worried that they will "catch poverty". Swine flu? Well that's another matter. Thanks for giving this issue some attention.

ms said...

i hope you do read your earlier posts. a few days ago, breaking news featured one indian cabbie getting kicked by aussie drunk footballer in very large bold letters, while a tiny strip below it, very fast and very tiny, gave a listing of all the murders and suicides in all the major cities of india. it is true of every news channel. one day i counted all the people who had died and counted upto 200+ in 6 hours on one channel. i would have missed it since the tiny strip comes on randomly. mayawati spent 300 crores on her statues and parks, but her state records the maximum number of farmer suicides, and the selling of their women for money. some of the farmer debts are more than 60 years old. how much have they paid towards the loan amount? 3 generations later, and they still owe 5000 rupees - the original loan amount. our system is the most corrupt. i can't look at airconditioned malls, metro trains, flyovers, imported cars etc and forget the lakhs who are dead and dying. when stupid politicians are on their austerity drive, and saving 7000 rupees (gandhi mater) and -hold your breath- 400 rupees (gandhi enfant), i am disgusted. maharashtra will spend 350 crores on a statue. they could easily pay off each and every farmer's loan in not only their own state, but in several others. sometimes, i feel that if global warming is going to destroy all civilisation as we know it, it wouldn't be such a bad thing.
"If this belief from Heaven be sent,
If such be Nature's holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?"