New Delhi : India | Aug 23, 2012 at 10:11 AM PDT
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Contrary to the predictions by India Meteorological Department (IMD) months before, the onset of South West monsoon which annually visits India during the month of June and lasts till the end of August – this time our country experienced a deficient monsoon which has literally shocked our citizens, rulers and farmers across the country. Our Ministers especially Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, his juniors in the Ministry, the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherji and P.Chidambaram, the incumbent Finance Minister and Ministers at State level, besides ManMohan Singh who is holding the reins of Central govt, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi are concerned at the below normal rainfall since a deficient monsoon will naturally affect the agricultural sector and farmers who constitute 70% of the total population of the nation who bear the major brunt of lack of sufficient rainfall. Since Indian agriculture even after 65 years of Independence which largely depends upon monsoon and a poor monsoon is supposed to bring doom to the country. Even while India had abundant stocks of foods, thanks to last year’s near normal monsoon across India due to lack of sufficient storage facilities we are hearing the reports of food grains overflowing the go-downs or storage facilities, which rot in the open, the grains provide sumptuous feasts to the rats, birds, pestering insects and other such beings. But the unfortunate fact is that while millions are suffering from food shortages as they are not supplied with sufficient food grains, one square meal a day is dream to them. Even if the grains rot in the open, the govt which rules the country is not willing to supply it to the suffering millions citing technical reasons. Adding insult to injury, lakhs and lakhs of tonnes of food grains are exported to other countries by a govt whose leaders who have no qualms in declaring from the podiums in full-throated voices, dole out promises and assurances to their subjects whom they pretend to love and take care.

Even the demand for a Universal Public Distribution System falls in deaf ears. Instead of Universal Public Distribution System (PDS), the need of the hour which is raised by political parties, social activists and intellectuals the govt of the day harp on drawing a line between the people living Below Poverty Line (BPL) and those Above Poverty Line -the criteria they have adopted is laughable, that is another thing -before distributing the food grains. Instead of drawing a line between the so-called BPL and APL why can’t our ‘people-friendly’ rulers adopt Universal Public Distribution System which could cover a majority of our citizens? Even to that question, the govt have no satisfactory answer. The criteria they have discovered to draw a line between BPL and APL is not at all based on ground realties. For instance, in fact many citizens who are considered as APL by our ruling mandarins really come under BPL. For the very reason depending upon these ‘so-called lines’ which varies from committee to committee a appointed by the Central govt and as the method each adopt is different these ‘lines’ display fluctuations and because of that same reason the criteria adopted by each differs. In the place of Suresh Tendulkar Committee when another committee is formed under another person, the method adopted naturally differs. Hence the first step in the right direction is the adoption of a Universal Public Distribution System which if implemented in its true spirit, no complaints are bound to emanate from any quarters. But from a stubborn and arrogant govt such a right decision is unlikely to come up.

We started from this year’s deficient rainfall or a below normal monsoon which is likely to affect various parts of our country. A deficient rainfall naturally results in low Kharif harvest which adversely affects our already beleaguered farmers, who still depend upon monsoons, South- West Monsoon and North-East Monsoon for the progress and prosperity of their occupation. Irrigation facilities have not sufficiently developed across India, even safe and pure drinking water is a dream to millions. Due to widespread digging of borewells, ground water depletion is resulted. Even for power generation, farmers will have to depend more upon hydro-electric projects. The utilization of Solar power and Wind energy has not been taken seriously by a govt which is obsessed with producing nuclear power with the outdated nuclear reactors imported from developed countries like US and France and the guarantee for these nuclear reactors is not being provided by these countries. In case of a nuclear disaster due to faulty nuclear reactors happens the aforesaid countries are reluctant to provide sufficient liability to our country.

In short availability of sufficient water is essential as never before and with global warming staring in our face which gradually shows an upward trend and as far as environmental scientists are considered, with deforestation, disappearance of bio-diversity and green house gas emissions on the increase which deplete the ozone layer are bound to bring droughts, floods, hurricanes, alarming rise in sea-levels, pity, our Mother Earth is gradually evolving into a uninhabitable planet. Cyclical changes of seasons have already upset the previously existed timeframe for each season, already gone hay-ware.

Summits after summits, platitudes after platitudes nations across the world over are virtually doing nothing to solve the intensity of alarming global warming resulting in once lush green planet gradually turning out to be an inferno.

krsurendran is based in Kochi, Kerala, India, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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