Take a guess, what’s the new buzz word of 2008/2009. It’s all over the place, everybody is talking about it , be it rich or be it poor, be it the developing word or the developed world, everybody is expecting it. But so far the only rich got it. It’s the big “Bailout”.
So what is the bailout. Well, in simple terms, when the banks loose money because of bad and risky bets, they go to the government who give them interest free loans or sometimes buy all the bad assets and help the banks restore so that they can make the same mistakes, yet again ! Simple enough, right ?
Vidharbha, a little know village in Maharashtra shot to instant name and fame when the local media reported about the increasing number of farmer suicides. The farmers commited suicide because no one was there to “bail” them out. They were left to die their own death. So why did the farmers had to take this extreme step ? Well in simple terms
- the farmers took loan from the banks to produce the crop.
- the farming practices that were practiced required pesticides, chemicals and so on so forth. Most of the times the expenses out ran the revenue.
- the revenue ofcourse was largely dependent on the monsoon. No monsoon, no rain meant no revenue.
- so in order to pay for the expenses, they needed to take another loan. Only this time, the lender was not the bank but was the private money lender. The regular bank woudn’t give a second loan without paying the first loan.
- so then, what happens, when the banks come after the farmers for the money and even worse, when the money lenders are after them.
- that’s when the suicide happens.
It’s very unfortunate the way the farmer is financially cornered and then forced to end his/her life. Very unfortunate, especially when you know that car loans are much easily accessible than farming loans and at lower interest rates.
So why can’t the government(s), the banks, the people recognize the suicides trends as a crisis, why by the way is not only limited to Vidharbha , but to other places as well. For a country that has more than 70% of population dependent on agirculture and which has seen more than 10,000 deaths ( or even more ) in a decade, what more needs to happen to recognize this a major crisis and do something about it.
I guess it’s just no fashionable enough. The banks in distress or the farmers in distress. Which one gets priority, i think the banks, because it’s much more urban, much more fashinable and much more happening.