- Who is the real culprit? Is it the government's neglect of the agrarian economy, the lending practices of microfinance institutions, liberalisation or globalisation?
- A large number of studies conducted by social scientists across the country point to the following: there is no single culprit. Crop failure, debt burden, loss in non-agriculture activities and failure of borewells have as often been found to be associated with households with suicides as are person-specific factors such as alcoholism, gambling, property disputes and factors that point towards social problems such as burden of dowry, caste issues and other related social problems.
- Clearly, to blame suicide among farmers on largely external factors such as liberalisation and globalisation misses a major part of the story.
- Almost all the burden of the risk, e.g., crop failure due to draught or excessive rains, falls on farmers.
- Instead of creating institutions that allow farmers to hedge their risk, politicians have opted for short cuts that provide instant votes, but not long-terms solutions that rescue farmers from the clutches of landlords, cooperatives, microfinance institutions and reduce risks on account of crop failures.
Excerpts from Neeraj Kaushal’s Article.