30th September marks the end of June-September south-west summer monsoon in India and Maharashtra. The 2015 summer monsoon has proved to be the worst monsoon in the last six years for India. Rainfall deficits are seen in all major food-producing regions like UP (47% deficit), Bihar (28% deficit), Punjab and Haryana (32% deficit). This is India’s second successive year of high rainfall deficit, and only the fourth time this has happened since 1901.
Maharashtra has a highest 52% rainfall deficit, migrations by farming communities have already started, drinking water shortages is a reality. People living in a city call a water tanker @ INR 2,000/- for their water needs. In rural India women walk n nautical miles to collect some drinking water.
Despite the rainfall deficit, on our farm, paddy & finger millet (nachni/raagi) looks the best we’ve had in the last five years, i am keeping my fingers crossed because big showers are expected for a couple of weeks. If it rains heavily then we will incur some serious losses & also hope against hope that our co-residents in the hillock (aka@ wild boars) will not descend onto our paddy fields & decide to harvest the rice before we do!!
As the season changes with the September equinox behind us on the 22nd, we can feel the early morning dew on the land, days have become shorter & by 6.30 pm darkness sets in.
However a completely different gloom of darkness seems to have set in. Interest rates have been cut, so people can borrow to buy more cars and houses. Savers penalised, spenders rewarded. WTF. Can the planet survive such an “economy” ? People like us are losing our ground by every minute. Almost everyday we hear news like what is written on the placard on the left. It is digital decimation of our country, our history, our constitution, our faith & beliefs. May be like what Faiz Ahmed Fiaz said…..the truth is not dead yet.
Speak, your lips are free.
Speak, it is your own tongue.
Speak, it is your own body.
Speak, your life is still yours.
See how in the blacksmith’s shop
The flame burns wild, the iron glows red;
The locks open their jaws,
And every chain begins to break.
Speak, this brief hour is long enough
Before the death of body and tongue:
Speak, ’cause the truth is not dead yet,
Speak, speak, whatever you must speak.
Faiz Ahmed Faiz
All this while we used to consider lack of rainfall, or unseasonal rains, lack of fertility in the soil, continuous power cuts, problems of access to the farm, lack of public transport, lack of veterinary support, lack of internet connectivity, apathy of government officials towards improvement of agriculture etc, etc as the real hurdles which we face on the land. Now we’ve another serious problem in our hands.
Please read carefully. (because unfortunately the land mafia dons are also following this blog)
A Land agent has acquired the land behind us & he along with a known goon with connections to land mafia gangsters has been threatening to cut our land. There have been a few incidents in the last 4 months wherein they have come & threatened me & my co-workers. Last week they came in with cement poles to ‘encroach’ into quite a sizeable part of our land. Its been 5 years plus since we’ve been on this land, the boundaries of our land has been well-marked out through an elaborate process which included the local villagers, the earlier owners, the owner of the neighbouring land etc. For more than 5 years no one has had any objections to even a square inch of our land & now suddenly comes a ubiquitous land agent, with his gangster buddy in tow & telling me that they will redraw the new boundaries. WTF. If they thought they could instill fear & muscle their way through us…. then they are wasting time with a person who actually knows no fear.
Peace & love