Land for living, land for livelihood

Land for living, land for livelihood

The landmark event of 1960s, Green Revolution, credited to India’s most award-winning scientist in the area of agriculture, Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, followed by another pioneering initiative, Operation Flood, launched in 1970, credited to Dr. Verghese Kurien (1921-2012) and leading to White Revolution in subsequent years, raising India to the top spot among the few milk producing countries, after witnessing the nation globally bask in glory, have both found their due place in the pages of modern India’s history. Voices are being raised currently in knowledgeable circles, backed by reliable data and information, that the nation has already outstripped the economic dividends resulting from the work of the scientist and the technocrat over the past few decades. Time is overdue, they have sounded, to take stock of all the resources available and needed to do an encore as it were of the two revolutions, given the adverse land-area-to-population-ratio, which shall only worsen in times ahead.

Given the worsening global scenario of unrest virtually in all the regions, including the unfriendly atmosphere in which India finds itself, unlike in the past, dependence on other countries to meet exigencies of shortages of essentials such as food is wrought with disappointment and risk. In this backdrop, the successors to the aforementioned two-some great sons of India, namely scientists, technologists, technocrats and the academia at large are to place themselves in Fast Forward mode to foresee the challenges and address them.

Going by the matter in print that one reads in the dailies of all hues, one gets the gut feeling that both administration and its advisors are over-bestowing their attention to make the life of urbanites more comfortable, while only talking condescendingly and patronisingly about the needs and welfare of the rustics, but for whom the nation’s food basket wouldn’t be wearing a smile. A rich stock of knowledge is within the reach of the powers that be not to make them blind about steps imperative to safeguard the country’s available land area first to raise crops and only later to provide for laying or widening of roads, constructing dwellings, not to forget land for industrial infrastructure.

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In sum, in spite of the elementary understanding that no force on earth (including divine intervention) can arrest the unrelenting population expansion in the country, no pragmatic steps are coming forth from any quarters to balance  the available land area between meeting needs of living and livelihood, or in other words keep the growth of cities in check and enlarge the facilities for the rustics, specially their requirements of nutrition, healthcare and shelter.

August 3, 2017

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