OPEN LETTER

It's your responsibility, too

Farmers-tn Farmers gather on a footpath during a protest in Chennai, as they demand profitable prices for their agricultural products, and called for the formation of a committee to solve the Cauvery river water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka | AFP

Dear sir,

While I am appreciative of your usual forthrightness in not sugar-coating statements, I find your words drowning the responsibility of the Centre in providing funds to the state for farm loan waivers, highly insensitive if not outrightly crude and cruel. It sounds as if farmers are inconsequential in the Centre's scheme of things. When farmers—the real backbone of our country—are perishing under debt traps, the harsh words were like rubbing salt on the wounds.

It is not the time for sticking to the nitty-gritty of the allocations of funds to the states. It is the time to rise up in unison to cut the suicidal knots around the necks of hapless farmers.

When it comes to corporate loans, the burden is willingly accepted and the banks gleefully write them off. Then why are the poor farmers treated as expendables ? How come the farmers' debts only turn credit indiscipline? The agrarian crisis is the result of lopsided policies of the Centre and the states. When your government shouts from the roof tops that farmers' welfare is uppermost, can there be a more apt example of double talk than yours? We still hope that you can no longer turn a Nelson's eye to the plight of the poor farmers of this country.

A. Raveendranath

Aranmula, Kerala

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