Are farmers above criticism, beyond scrutiny?

Admittedly, there are a myriad other factors at play. Still, is the current plight of farmers, especially in suicide-stricken states like Maharashtra, because the Humble Indian Farmer, all things considered, is also lazy? And wily?

#There are power cuts in both Gujarat and Maharashtra. The farmers in Gujarat, just like the farmers here, chew tobacco. But after (having finished) chewing tobacco, the farmers in Gujarat go to work whereas the farmers here sit idly,” Union Textile Minister Shankersinh Vaghela, said during a visit to Akola.

# “The farmers experiment a lot. They add excess water and small stones to bulk up the weight of their produce,” chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has said.

True? False? Not the right to say even if true? Insult upon injury? Insensitive? Rubbing salt into the suicides?

Mary Antoinette-esque? “Let them work hard if they do not want to end their lives”?


Maharashtra’s politicians have, as usual, been quick off the blocks.

# “The government has done nothing for farmers. It should not at least poke fun at farmers,” former chief minister Manohar Joshi of the Shiv Sena has said.

# “No matter whether the farmer is from Vidarbha or anywhere else, he works hard for his living,” Congress leader Vilas Baburao Muttemwar has said.

Really? Wrong to remind farmers that they should work hard instead of waiting for packages? And are all farmers saints, who all work hard everywhere?