Democracy in India is a white lie.

The outcome of recent elections
in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh was a movement of celebration for both BJP and
Congress. Congress won a state election (Himachal Pradesh) after four years. It
is a great achievement of new Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge.

On the other hand,  BJP marked its
historic win in Gujarat after being in power for 24 years in the state. People in Himachal
Pradesh has not given mandate to incumbent government for a second term in more
than four decades. BJP failed to break this tradition of alternate government
in Himachal Pradesh.  BJP came to power in
last Gujarat election with marginal victory. Hence, star campaigners like Modi
and Amit Shah spent more time in Gujarat than in Himachal Pradesh.

As per India today, Modi addressed 37 rallies and Amit Shah addressed 43
rallies in Gujarat. In Gujarat, BJP won 156 seats out of 182, while AAP was
able to eat into Congress space by winning 5 seats.

Three factors that
influences election, and how it changed since 2014 general election:

1. Media:-

Secular hardliners
among journalists who tainted Modi since 2002 Gujarat riot all the way to till
2014 general election are now singing the glory of Modi’s leadership. Many
famous columnists whose writing is valued across Indian political sphere are
gradually shifting to Hindutva at least by praising Yoga, Indian tradition and
cultural values. Gauri Lankesh and Kalburgi are examples of intolerance in India.
Most of the main stream media in India are owned by corporates and  are after profit. They want to run their
business smoothly and they like revenue from government advertisements. Being
part of NDTV, Burka Dutt played a major role in exposing several scams of UPA
II. Later, she was kicked out of main stream media. Now Gautham Adani owns NDTV.
In other words, those who cannot adopt to this change since Modi became prime
minister are left out

2. A unique theory in Indian politics, which is not
covered in political science:

Ambani, Adani,
Anand Mahindra and almost every Corporate boss in India are happy with Modi’s
leadership. They express it while addressing media and on social media. They
talk about ease of doing business under Modi’s regime at corporate events. Thus
Modi became more acceptable in corporate world. Today, Modi is a great patriot
and not a communalist.

Nowadays, we
see a lot of people in corporate world proudly sharing their views about India,
our culture, festivals and tradition. At times they are over doing it. This is
because the same was tabooed, discouraged, or was belittled during previous

The above said
change is not limited to corporate world. It is applicable for workers in small
factories, saw mills, and in all unorganised sectors. Those who own MSMEs are
beneficiaries of Modi regime. Government policies are favouring them. Their
business depends on raw materials, sale of finished goods and finances. It will
take place smoothly, if they don’t  go
against union government. So, they too will sing the glory of union government
like corporate bosses. And their workers will do the same. Prime minister
celebrating Deewali with soldiers every year and he working all 365 days a year
without a vacation is applauded by people from all walks of life.

3.Opposition’s role in what is happening around:

UPA II was
immersed in corruption. They lost credibility and acceptance among people.  Congress leaders were confused about what they
should do as watchdog of democracy. Modi government used initial few years in
power to change media, government institutions, independent constitutional
bodies to work as per their terms. This is exactly what Congress did to rule
India for more than fifty years. It adversely affected India’s development, though
we cannot ignore significant achievements of independent India in various
fields during Congress regime. In other words, the prolonged Congress rule
limited India’s development.

The above said strategy was
followed by Communist government led by Jyothi Basu in west Bengal. It helped
them to rule Bengal for 34 consecutive years. As a result, Bengal remained a poor
state. It lacked infrastructure and development. Today, we see Bengali migrant
workers across India who work on comparatively low wages. Mamatha Banerjee who
defeated Communist in Bengal won for the third consecutive term using the same
strategy. Now the existence of Communist in Bengal is under threat like how the
existence of Congress is under threat in India.

In Kerala, people elected
alternate government. Today, Kerala is leading state in India in human
development index when Bengal is at 28th position in HDI as of 2019.
In 2011, Bengal’s ranking was worse than what it is now, after 34 years of
continuous Communist rule. Even now, the Communist leaders in India will brag
about Jyothi Basu and 34 years of Communist rule in Bengal. So, we can conclude
that electing incumbent party back to power will help them to continue their
development projects without hindrance, but alternate government will produce
better result.  

Karnataka assembly election is due in May
2023, which is just five months away. Karnataka election is crucial for both
Congress and BJP. It is home state of new Congress president Mallikarjun
Kharge. Both Congress and BJP have strong presence in the state. The election
campaign will start soon.

One way to win election is by
polarizing voters, which happens to be the trend in India now. Same old
strategy of ‘divide and rule’ which was introduced by British Empire in India. Karnataka
government banned Hijab in educational institutions last year. The Hijab row
gained media attention and became the topic of discussion in prime time news in
national news channels. All the opposition leaders in India were against Hijab ban
till the protest broke out in Iran following the custodial death of 22 year old
Jina Mahsa Amini.  She was arrested by
morality police for not wearing Hijab properly and severely beaten.

Protestors in Tehran holding photo of slain Mahsa Amini.

If I am not wrong, the protest in
Iran and the rest of the world followed by this incident could have helped
opposition leaders in India have a paradigm shift. Last February, prime
minister Modi in his poll rally in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh said that people
are finding new ways to block the rights and development of Muslim women. He
assured that the Muslim women can wear Hijab in UP without fear under BJP rule.
When Modi goes to Karnataka for election rally, will he admit to people in
Karnataka that the BJP state government in Karnataka was wrong in banning Hijab?
Or, will he say what protesters in Iran said?

Above two paragraphs helps us to
understand how the politics of division diverts the attention of voters from
real issues that affects their lives and livelihood. Another way to win
election is by addressing  real issues of
people, while in power. The opposition will point out the failures of ruling
government and will promise to address the real issues of voters, if elected to

In Karnataka, the majority of
voters are farmers like how it is in the rest of India. Congress won elections
in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh with a promise to waive farm
loan. Even the NDA led by prime minister Modi promised farm loan waiver to win
2019 general election. Why would farmers in India have debt which they cannot
afford to repay? Is it because they are all drunkards? Or do they spend a lot
in gambling?

We know that farmers are hard
working people and farming is the only gamble they do. We are living in a world
where there is food shortage. This means that there is demand for agricultural
produces from across the world. Crop failure due to natural calamities is a
risk  which can be mitigated through crop
insurance. Lack of government support, and the government allowing middlemen to
exploit farmers is the only reason for farmer’s misery. In India, at least 65%
of our population are farmers. All these political parties who wants majority in
election are helping middlemen and Mandi owners. Mandi owners, middlemen, the
vendors and every other who gain from exploiting farmers put together is not
even 5% of our population. And we call it democracy. Or, this is how mother of
democracy functions.

Siddaramaih the former chief
minister of Karnataka was a Janata Dal (Secular) leader before joining
Congress. When he was in JD(S), all JD(S) leaders including Siddaramaih worked
with professor M D Nanjunda Swamy, the founder of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha
(KRRS). Or, they used KRRS to protest against the then ruling government. After
becoming chief minister, Siddaramaih ducked media on several occasions when
asked about farmer’s concerns. He choose to mock farmers saying that he too is
a farmer. He didn’t commit suicide, but farmers in Karnataka did. Supreme court
verdict in September 2016 asking Karnataka to release more water to Tamilnadu,
when it posed a threat to drinking water in Karnataka was a failure of

After loosing power in 2018, Siddaramaih
as opposition leader is busy fighting for farmers. Some of them are, farmer’s
suicide, shortage of fertilizers in the state, demanding farm loan waiver, he wrote
an open letter asking citizens to support farmers, he criticised land reforms
and said that liberalising farmland ownership is a scam bigger than illegal
mining. He demanded ₹25 lakh compensation for farmers who died in Delhi
protest. Not just Siddaramaih, this is what almost every political leader in
India did to help farmers.

ere were instances of Europe
and western countries rejecting farm produces from India, because they were the
product of genetically modified seeds. Certain modifications are not allowed in
those countries. In India, our government approves them. The consumers will
suffer if its harmful. If it causes loss, then the farmers will suffer. And
there is absolutely no liability on companies who sell these seeds. Isn’t this

If buying a tractor will not help
a farmer to earn money, then the subsidy and loan for tractor are meant to help
tractor manufacturers to sell their tractors. Similarly, if the fertilizer
(both imported and Indian made) won’t help farmers to earn, then the subsidy
and loan for fertilizer is meant to help fertilizer sellers. It is true that in
India, the loans under various schemes are often loans to help equipment
manufacturers to sell their goods and not the one who obtains loan. The actual
beneficiaries are big companies. For example, those belonging to SC/ST
community are  entitled to get loan up to
ten lakh for self employment. Often the scheme helps car manufacturers, OLA and
Uber. There are many other options to invest ten lakhs in profitable business,
but government didn’t take initiative to equip them with required skills.

The union government aims to
achieve $5 trillion economy. As per the recent CNBC report on 21
November 2022, the timeline for India becoming a $5 trillion economy has to be postponed.
It says India lost two years of growth due to pandemic and the target can be
achieved by 2026-27. We are a nation of 135 crore plus population. If we were
to remove just ten lakh top richest people and their assets, then we are among
the poorest countries in the world. The government’s vision to become $5
trillion economy can be achieved easily by helping farmers to get what they
deserve for farm produces. Unfortunately, the union government’s road map for
$5 trillion economy has nothing for farmers, other than a plan for crop
diversification and land consolidation. Often, what farmers get is much less
than those who work on daily wage.

The government through NITI-Ayog
should do research to find ways to make farming economically viable. It will stop
farmer’s suicide. All this development plans explained in this article are 100%
practical and can change the lives of millions of Indians. The government need
not have to waive farm loan every now and then. Helping farmers to earn up to
their maximum potential will help 65% of our population to afford better food,
education, healthcare and improved standard of living. It increases domestic
consumption and India will soon be a $5 trillion economy.

Most of us in India are familiar
with KISSAN fruit jam, Del Monte tomato ketchup and Lays chips. The ketchup,
sauce, jams, jelly, tomato Puree, essence, flavours, flours, chips and snacks
in packets are processed food using agricultural produces. Big brands purchase
raw materials from farmers at throw away price. They spend considerable amount
of money for advertisement, marketing and transportation. The union government
should make concerted effort to help farmers get the price they deserve. This
was explained in last few paragraphs of “Seventy years of farmer’s cry which went unheard”.

The union government should press
Niti-Ayog to come up with plans to set up societies or PSUs of respective State
governments to process farm produces into packaged food like jam, jelly, juices,
honey, ketchup, chips, snacks, etc. The government should encourage micro units
for individual farmers. The government should make attempts to create ecosystem,
where farmers can process farm produces and sell in their respective towns and
cities in small scale. Helping few MSME’s will only result in they making windfall
gains and the hard working farmers will continue to suffer.

The government through
agriculture and horticulture department should engage with farmers to educate
them on organic-farming. They should encourage farmers to grow plants that helps
nitrogen fixation. Nitrogen fixation is a natural process where the above said
micro-organisms will collect nitrogen from atmosphere and break it into ammonia
and other chemicals which plants can absorb. Farmers across India are planting
some of these plants in-between crops, but they are not adequate. Many are
unaware of its importance and how it reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.

Representational image of nitrogen fixing plants grown in India.

On 10 November 2022, The Guardian  reported that the oil and
gas industries have had 636 representatives at Egypt climate conference
(Cop27), a rise of more than 25% on previous year.

The oil lobby, who try to
influence global climate goals are after profits and are least bothered about
climate change. Then we have countries who try to justify their actions by
talking about their respective country’s share in world’s cumulative emission.
These developing countries demand leeway stating that many developed countries
exploited forests, ecosystem, fossil fuels and other natural resources for
several years to become developed countries. These developing countries think
that it is unfair to enforce global climate goals, which hampers their
development. However, it is inevitable to switch to sustainable development and
renewable energy at the earliest. There is no point in investing more to
develop technology, which is obsolete and harmful.

The world is suffering due to climate
change and pollution. This suffering will continue for several years, even if every
country sticks to global climate goals. We already see the adverse effects of
climate change everywhere. Natural calamities like earthquakes, floods, drought,
scarcity of water, untimely rains, rain fall which is not uniform where some places
will get heavy rainfall and some places will get sporadic rainfall.

Representational image of drought.

Pollution is the cause of chronic
ailments like Cancer, respiratory disorders, cardiac problems, etc. We see
plastic littered everywhere in our surroundings, in canals, rivers and ocean.
As per recent studies, the poisionous plastic has entered human blood which
circulates in our body.

Air quality in Delhi-NCR is a
major area of concern with air quality level touching hazardous limits every
year. The fate of Delhi-NCR this year was no different. Its been a major worry
since September. Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) dropped to ‘severe category’
and touched 410 on 19 December 2022.

India’s crop residue are
estimated to be around 600 million tonnes every year. Out of it, Uttar Pradesh
generates 17.9%, followed by Maharashtra which is 10.52%, then comes Punjab at
8.15% and Gujarat at 6.4%. An estimated 39 million tonnes of paddy straw is
being burnt every year in Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Two years ago, Indian
Agricultural research institute (IARI) in PUSA developed a low cost technology
to manage crop residue. Decomposer capsules known as PUSA decomposer will cost
only ₹20 for four capsules. Twenty five litres of solution can be prepared using
four capsules, which is effective for one hectare of land.  PUSA decomposer will decompose crop residue
in thirty days. It will increase the fertility of land and will reduce the need
for chemical fertilizer.

PUSA decomposer was developed in
2020 and by now it should have been known to farmers across India. But we see
the stubble burning continuing across India. Delhi government is applying PUSA
decomposer and requesting union government to make it mandatory in neighbouring

They said that it took five years
to develop PUSA decomposer. In 2015, there were machineries available to cut
stubble at soil level and shred them into tiny pieces which will decompose naturally.
Farmers with small parcel of land can neither buy these machines nor they can
hire it.

The government gave a written reply on 7 April 2022 to Rajya Sabha stating that the government gives 50%
subsidy on machineries for crop residue management, and up to 80% financial
assistance for cooperative societies for setting up crop residue management
units. The union government should have purchased these machines and should
have provided at least two units in every taluk through agriculture department.
And should have made it available for hire at the price of fuel, maintenance
and operator. State and union government can do a lot to support farmers by
providing necessary machineries on rent, educating farmers on how to improve
the fertility of soil, guiding them on selecting crops, seeds, pesticides and

In India, a large number of
farmers own a small parcel of land. They cannot afford to rent machineries like
tractor or the machinery for harvesting. Shortage of labours during harvest
season adds to the problem. Such problems can be solved by planning the crop,
where neighbouring farmers will grow the same crop at the same time.  

It will be affective only with
active participation of learned people from agriculture department and not
through radio ads from agriculture ministry.

An article In
gives you a fair idea about various ways to decompose agricultural residue and
how it can be used to replace chemical fertilizers.  

The union government should
consider scraping all the commercial and private vehicles, which are older than
15 years. Soon we will have situation like Delhi in all major cities in India.
Vehicle owners may not like such change, but this is what they do in all
developed country. Even if we do it, we will still have vehicles with BS-3
engines running around for another ten years. Those who purchase truck or Bus
will earn enough to buy a new one in fifteen years. The government can offer
easy loan options with low EMI and subsidy on new vehicle for vehicle owners
who scrap their old commercial vehicle. It helps to meet global climate goals
and will be effective in controlling air pollution. It will increase the sale
of new vehicles by many fold and automobiles sector in India will boom.   

Contour bund. Representational image.

Scarcity of water is another
major problem India will face along with the rest of the world. Indiscriminate
exploitation of both surface and ground water for irrigation and industries will
lead to shortage of water in the near future. Future wars will be for water.
Hence, the union government should use the work force under MNERGA for water conservation,
rain water harvesting, building Check-dams and contour bunds, construction of
units to recharge bore wells, etc. The union government should also provide
subsidy and easy loans for such projects.

Isn’t this what political leaders
should talk during election campaign in Karnataka and other states?

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