24 November, 2020

Candy Called Ban Ban

As farmers starve and die, an aloof government jumps to protect cows

Candy Called Ban Ban

It is clear that not cows but small farmers are dispensable for the Maharashtra government. Though in the course of three months more than 600 farmers in the state have committed suicide, the state government has not taken additional, ameliorative steps to help.

Nitin Gadkari, a Union minister, has advised farmers to increase production, use improved seeds and not just depend on the government. Devendra Fadnavis, the chief minister, had alacrity enough to accept in principle a plan for a flashy nightlife in Mumbai and other cities, but has not taken cognisance of the tragic end of hundreds of farmers. Cows being sacred to him and his administration, he unearthed an old legislation and declared a ban on cow slaughter.

Drought and famine are frequent visitors to Maharashtra, but in the course of five decades no government had been so callously indifferent to them. During such calamities past ministries started public works, and all parties helped the government. Economists like D.R. Gadgil and later, V.M. Dan­dekar, organised relief camps. Opposition leader...



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