It a long time I wrote something. I couldn’t think of something. I felt as if I have suddenly lost all the inspiration. I wrote couple of poems but couldn’t finish them. Two weeks ago I was leaving the town for one week. I came home late on Sunday. I was supposed to board the train early morning Monday.
I was feeling restless so thought of spending time some time with the Idiot box. I was surfing channels when news about Farmers selling their wives caught my attention. I was shocked. There was an interview about how a mother was forced to sell herself to feed her children. All this happening in India!!!!!!!! It happened in the India’s heartland in Bundelkhand in UP where the one of the fierce political battles was fought between Rahul Gandhi & Mayawathi during the last election. We talk of record food production & here mothers are forced to sell themselves to feed. What a shame on this civilized world. Why couldn’t our Govt or politicians take note of them? UP government was innovating on new plans to divert tax payer’s money to erect status of the political brass. Why the media has to come up with such exclusives every time before the government wakes up? What is to be so proud of? Godowns full of bumper crops or the tale of fateless farmers who cannot even afford the crops they produce? There is Bundelkhand Divisional Development Corporation (BDDC) which seems to be interested in the development of BSP party only. Where is the congress, the BSP, SP who spoke for hours highlighting the poor farmer’s life to garner more votes? Where are you “the Son’s of soil”. Why they should worry now, they can think about these when the next election comes.
The farmers reportedly sell their women to money lenders at rates ranging between Rs 4,000 - Rs 12,000 with more beautiful faces fetching more. The trade is given a legal approval by using stamp papers!!!!!!! For each stamp paper used Indian Govt. is getting revenue. Government earning revenue by forcing their women folks to sell themselves, shame on you political cattles. Looking at the grave situation they would have got enough revenues to survive next few years. This is a place where every year millions of tones of food grains are lost or damaged in godowns. I have even heard news about how food grains are destroyed so that the prices remain high!!!!
The practice is so common that a book has also been written on the social evil by an activist in the region. However, the administration, generally attempts to suppress such cases just as they deny farm suicides. The protracted drought in Bundelkhand has not only been forcing people to commit suicide but also coercing many to ‘mortgage’ their wives and daughters to moneylenders in a bid to survive.
Many of those who read this may not be aware of the not so shining part of India. We are fortunate enough to have food at least 3 times a day. My heart goes to all those mothers and children.
Couple of decades back our Prime minister said “Jai Jawan, Jai Kissan” (Victory to soldier, Victory to Farmer). There is not much jai left... only the feeble cry of hungry children, the untold story of the horrors the mothers faced.
I want to write more but cannot. Whenever I think of that story my eyes become watery, even now I could feel my wet cheeks. I can’t write more my soul is disturbed….
(Officially in India about 28 % people are below the poverty line but yesterday I read an article according to which if the calorie intake is considered more than 50% of Indians are below poverty line. Even after so many years of Independence if 50% of people are below poverty line, who couldn’t support a wholesome meal then surely it’s the high time we changed our programs in alleviating the downtrodden.)