Netas’ ‘Welfare’ Over Farmers’ Plight: Incredible India?

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Telangana

1,986 farmer suicides and a 200% salary hike for legislators.  1,986 farmer suicides and a 200% salary hike for legislators. 1,986 FARMER SUICIDES AND A 200% SALARY HIKE FOR LEGISLATORS!!

We are going to keep saying that until its absurdity is drilled into the heads of the people who think that this is a smart move.

Parched and arid agricultural fields that lead to major crop failures every harvest season often push our desperate farmers over the edge, as they prefer to die instead of grapple with the insurmountable debt trap.

The numbers only begin to tell us the tales of unspeakable horror that our poor farmers have had to face, the truth lies in the statistics of the National Crime Records Bureau. Records show that a shocking 101 farmer suicide cases were reported in the first two months since the creation of Telangana. The opposition parties, however, alleged that 1,400 famers committed suicide since the separate state came into existence in June last year.

It is the state with the second highest farmer suicides in the country after Maharashtra.

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The agriculture sector was neglected for decades. The irrigation projects were not taken up while minor irrigation system was totally ignored, he said, blaming depleting ground water table and erratic electricity supply among other reasons for the farmers’ distress.

While the farmers are left distraught as the government resorts to the oldest trick in the book; playing the blame game. The present government blames the successive policies that were in place in undivided Andhra Pradesh.

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Back in December a five-day ‘Ayutha Chandi Maha Yagam’ took place at Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s farmhouse near here amid elaborate security arrangements.

According to reports, about Rs 6-7 crore have been spent on the mega religious ritual in the state which has declared 50 per cent of its blocks as drought hit.

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As if this wasn’t enough, the lawmakers in Telangana are demanding a three-fold increase in their salaries to 3 lakh per month from Rs. 95000 per month.

Jithender Reddy MP of ruling-Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) said, “We take care of our people. In that manner, we want to give a proper salary to people so no one turns to corruption.”

He further added, “We were deprived of our comforts for 60 years, and now we have a state.”

The salary hike issue would be debated further and a final decision was yet to be taken. Whether or not this becomes a reality is something that only time will tell.

The question is, can we really afford to fatten our ministers while our farmers remain hunger stricken?

Even if for one brief moment we try understand the need to increase the salaries of these people, how do we justify a 200% hike?

Neither the drought nor the farmer suicides are new in Telangana. The saddest part to this day is that there has been no long-term planning to fight this situation, which arises every year.

The unfortunate fact remains, that life of India’s poor has always been cheaper than its affluent.

Shireen Azizi

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