I watched a wonderful tribute video on this year's farmers' festival - Pongal. "What or which according to you is the most important job in the whole world?" RJ Balaji and Venky go around the city asking this question to people from various age groups. Surprisingly the answers they get are nowhere near the correct answer. Then after getting many clues, one by one realise that farming is the most important profession. Video ends with an upbeat song dedicated to farmers.
While agriculture had been the backbone of our economy even before we emerged as a free nation, what surprises me is the negligence accorded to farming especially by the rising neo-middle class in our cities. Today an average teenager in our nation has the least attraction towards the professions with utmost importance to the society such as teaching or farming. Even the traditionally agricultural families in our villages, who know the importance of farming, want their next generation to work in an air conditioned cubicle rather than on the open lands of villages. Agriculture has become so unattractive today that we see thousands of farmers abandoning their land to migrate to cities in search of the mirage of better life.
On the other hand, farmers today are adversely affected by the rapid changes in natural as well as cultural scenes. Being dependent on monsoon, small and medium farmers often face the failure of their crops and get themselves caught in the debt trap. Ultimately when the pressure breaches the threshold, they take their own precious life. Today our country, which worships land and respects food as God, is facing with rise in farmer suicides, and our urban society has decided to neglect it..! Worse is the mainstream media, which tries to capitalize by politicizing even the minimal attention accorded to the struggles of farmers.
In such a gloomy situation, the infant step taken by the Murugappa Group to educate the city dwellers with the importance of farming, is commendable. I wholeheartedly appreciate and thank it for making such a wonderful tribute to the most undermined profession in our nation. I hope this video will be a trigger for the like minded organisations to work on changing the attitude of society for the betterment of our farmers.
I salute the farmer, who stays hungry, to feed the hungry.