Letters on February 5 Issue

Letters on February 5 Issue
On 'Mere Paas Sarkaar Hai'

The article by Mihir Shah (‘Mere Paas Sarkaar Hai’, 18 January 2021) is rich in observations and includes lines of action that should be studied by policymakers. We can only validate the remark on the duplicity of the dominant States which want to accelerate the privatization of the Indian agricultural sector in the context of globalization. Perhaps one should question the role of the bureaucracy and the elites who believe that the modernization of the country comes first and foremost by imitating those taking place elsewhere where the market is king.

An important point is of the fate of the 800 million Indians who by the 2050s will always have a link with the agricultural sector. It seems utopian to believe that these millions of Indians will become urban dwellers in the next 30 years. Policymakers must ask themselves what will be the life of these millions of Indians in cities? Here we find the premonitory observation of the Mahatma on India and its villages.

Another aspect mentioned in this article is that of the orientation of agricultural policy, which should neither focus on certain producers nor favour certain crops for reasons related to the attractiveness of the market. Agricultural policy must cover the entire field of the different strata of the agricultural population and must be inclusive. Its productions owe to the needs of the country and not to the world market. This action can only be done through the public authorities at the federal level but also at the level of the federated states, given the infrastructure problems and the need to provide regular means of subsistence for workers in the agricultural sector.

In summary, the question posed by this article, and which somewhere joins the reflection and the words of Kiran Kumbhar, is whether India's growth model should follow that of the countries which since the 18th century have built it on the industry, or an alternative growth model in which agriculture plays an important role while respecting the environment. This is a real challenge for the country's decision-makers but also for its youth, attracted by the mirages of growth whose fragility is increasingly evident. An opportunity may have been missed during the latest education reform to make the country’s agriculture a pillar of its development. The paradox of the agricultural laws adopted is all the more strange when we know that current decision-makers not only have a deep appetite for India's past, where man and nature lived in symbiosis, but also defend on the international scene the concept of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam".

Sougoumar Mayoura
Back to Top