Changing Polity: the struggle in Rural Belts

by Amit Bhushan on Sunday 24 March 2019, 8:28 PM | Category: Politics| View: 175 views
 
 
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Changing Polity: the struggle in Rural Belts

                              By: Amit Bhushan                            Date: 24th Mar.2019

 

The rural belts seems to be sounding ‘change'. Many conclusions are being drawn by political pundits including retreat of public to Caste leaders, rejection of New Power-centers, rejection of communal polarization etc. Our commercial news media will consistently fail to point towards a lack of reforms in Agri-sector on which much of rural economy is dependent. Now only there has been little done to improve ‘growth' or say improving productivity, very little has been delivered to improve ability to ‘transact' the rural produce. The mandi-committee nexus as well as large buyers ensure that most farmers are locked in a ‘debt trap'. The farmers are encouraged to ‘wait or sleep over' such loans, especially if they are getting funds from the banks directly. Much of this politics has seen little reforms and now it is this ‘polity' which is ripe for change from the public side, the readiness of the Netas and the banks may be in question. However, it seems that rural areas would ensure that it is taken up soon after banks sort out the ‘industrial mess' and there seems little option.

There might be several associated issues in Agri-sector similar to ‘energy/power sector', again in which the ‘default mess' has seen little progress. Weak or absence of ‘Sector Regulatory body', political mis-use of policies and institutions including public undertaking and heavy hand of ‘States' which are under control of different parties, complicate the challenge for power as well as Agri sector. Now power may be a little simpler on account of heavy hand of state and central units, where Netas feel ‘free' to make use of tax-payer's money. While the central government has never done is bring-out laws to set up ‘strong regulator' fearing trespass over the rights of the states which each party wants to protect when they are in ‘opposition (at Centre)' but which bites when the same party is in power. Agri-sector is something similar but where the ‘private units' are much more entrenched. This not only complicates sorting out the mess, but also ensures that politicization of this would be done to its hilt. This requires some sort of a ‘consensus' or at least that the larger parties are agreeable to bridge their differences, not an easy ask in competitive polity.

From the political side, the things are complicated not only because of the lack of understanding amongst larger parties, but because of changing political contours of the smaller parties who won't mind switching sides to protect their ‘political turf' including respective ‘funders'. The continued reliance of large parties on the same set of Netas and smaller parties for support rather than evolve distinctive supporters has ensured that any ‘policy steps' by the government has to be weighed upon multiple times. And so barring some ‘electronifi-cation' and some ‘increase of Support price', there are very little actual reforms. It is definitely interesting to watch the ‘rise of left-wing' politics trying to organize the farming community, a little. Hitherto, the left-wing remained focused on workers in government sector and the organized private sectors. However, we still seem to be miles away when such discussions aren't even supported/carried out in the media. So the march of the Netas to the “Third Flush” continues. Let the ‘Game' evolve…..  

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