[op-ed snap] Marching against apathy: Agriculture


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: The newscard talks about the recent march(to Mumbai) of the farmers in Maharashtra. And discusses some their issues.



  1. Farmers in villages across the country have felt demeaned and disturbed by the insensitivity of successive governments at the Centre and in the states
  2. The same anguish was felt by the agriculturists who walked more than 160 km from Nashik to Mumbai

What are the issues?

  1. The farmers’ march was not a fallout of a single event
  2. They have been pushed into the streets by the cumulative effects of droughts, falling yields
  3. And aggravated by low farm-gate prices — purchases not made at the announced MSP, unkept promises of compensation for the failure of the cotton crop, which was attacked by the pink bollworm, etc.

The issues are not solved yet

  1. The state had misread the farmers again
  2. The resolute agriculturists did reach Mumbai, only to be duped again
  3. Last year’s verbal assurances of the farm loan waiver have not materialised and the written assurances, this time, of C2+50 per cent and forest rights for forest dwellers may meet with an identical fate

The issue of farmers suicide

  1. In the 10 long years that the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress were partners in crime in Maharashtra, over 36,000 farmers committed suicide in the state
  2. It is true that the state’s current chief minister inherited a grand mess
  3. But after over three years in office, he cannot escape accountability

Nothing has changed at the central government’s level

  1. The story has striking similarities with what has happened at the Centre
  2. Nothing has changed on the ground for farmers after nearly four years of the NDA government, apart from smarter sloganeering and repackaged programmes
  3. The farmer has realised that things were not meant to change