RE: Nero's Guests - A documentary on P Sainath's work on farmer suicides
Thanks Lije for posting this. I had been looking for this ever since I heard P Sainath mention it in another talk.
It is a marvel that Sainath manages to retain composure and stay largely within the bounds of civility while describing all the spectacles of injustice he is witnessing. The documentary is painful to watch, laying bare our collective guilt as well as ignorance. One of the slides in the documentary which says that 60% of our population depends on agriculture is only partly right, because all of us depend on agriculture
eventually, however much we may have 'seceded into outer space' to borrow Arundhati Roy's phrase. Our ignorance and indifference, therefore is inexcusable. Speaking for myself, how ignorant I am is pictured in how I would read reports of farmer suicides and imagine these to be happening in mud huts among the landless and illiterate, but this documentary reveals how some of those lost are award-winning and enterprising farmers, poets among them.
A particularly shocking revelation was that often, there are successive suicides in the same family. There is one 'rural reporter' in Sainath, and there seems to be a crying need for legions of 'rural counsellors' to visit the bereaved families to do what they can to avoid further members taking these drastic steps. An egregious illustration of the lack of urgency on part of the civilian establishment is that our Food and Agriculture Minister is better known as the BCCI chairman, and an indictment of our storied civil society is that these suicides don't seem to arouse in it a minuscule portion of the righteous indignation that the notional loss of spectrum revenue arouses. This comment from the Youtube video of the documentary says it all.
Quote:this video has 7300 views and kolaveri di has what, 40-50 millions? india, my country, how do i cry for you?
Watching this video should supply viewers with reason enough to treat hunger and the agrarian crisis as a pre-competitive issue (refer Question 2 here
) on which we must co-operate regardless of any partisan divides or ideological disagreements.