Published on Aug 20, 2015
On the panel —
Agriculture & Food Security policies’ analyst Devinder Sharma & 20 farmer leaders from across India
In this very special episode of DALEEL with SP SINGH, we do what TV in India simply doesn’t — talk to the cross section of farmers across India. Farmer leaders from Kerala to Himachal Pradesh to Karnataka to Orissa to Madhya Pradesh to Rajasthan to Punjab to Andhra Pradesh to Telangana participate in this very special episode of DALEEL with SP Singh in a debate with farm and food security policy analyst Devinder Sharma weighing in with his expertise and penetrative understanding of where things went wrong.
Listen to farmer leader in Andhra Pradesh describing why one lakh acres were not cultivated by farmers for an entire year in protest against state policies to Binny Thomas from Kerala underscoring the need for the farmers to actually form a political party. He, in fact, has already formed one!
Well known farm policy analyst Ajay Vir Jakhar, who wears many hats (Editor of Farmers’ Forum, a journal engaging with issues and ideas for Indian agriculture, as a leader of Bharat Krishak Samaj advocating farm prosperity and as a progressive farmer) describing how policies are custom-designed to keep farmers from prospering, even as Rampal Jatt of Kisan Mahapanchayat in Rajasthan serves a warning that they will shift the final war against such policies to the chaupal of every village. “Then Delhi will have to come to the chaupal to talk to us, we won’t come to Delhi anymore,” he threatens.
DALEEL was also honoured to have among the panelists Naresh Sirohi, Advisor, Doordarshan KISAN channel run by Prasar Bharti. Sirohi is also an activist with Kisan Morcha and agreed that there is a skew in the way farm issues are presented. The media, he said, either squeezes out the farmers’ issues or ignores them altogether.
Watch the debate to get a glimpse into the broadspectrum of farmers’ narrative in India, missing from the mainstream media. We apologise for our inability to draw into the debate women farmer leaders from Orissa, Karami Beshra and Himal Sorang, both from Orissa Nari Samaj that has 2.5 lakh members, because they did not know Hindi or English, and we could not manage at a short notice an interpreter for Oriya, but DALEEL, nevertheless, is grateful to them for their presence and salutes the heroic work that India’s women farmers do. Why, then, is the picture of a farmer that comes to our mind and appears on Baisakhi calendars is always one of a male farmer, represents another skew in our understanding. On that, some other day. Jai Kisan.
This episode of DALEEL with SP SINGH was telecast on PTC News on August 19, 2015. Feedback, suggestions welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please help spread the word about DALEEL, an effort at cerebral television in times of dumbing down of the news media.