The Green Revolution that happened in the country during the decade of 1960s has just been subjected to scrutiny in some informed circles. The verdict that the field practices defining the landmark event, although it changed the nation’s position from being an importer of food grains to one of a net exporter in a short span of time, are not sustainable in a long-term did come like a bolt from the blue as it were. Even Punjab and Haryana, traditional wheat growing regions, taking to rice cultivation with unquestionable claim to be glorified as the nation’s granary, have reportedly witnessed near-crisis-like situation of steep decline in their soil health, the reason being overdose of chemical fertilisers. While the proverbial clock can’t be put back, reversing the damage done to the soil of the above regions is a long process, if at all.
The compulsions of adopting the so-called modern agri technologies drawn from the Western part of the world to achieve substantial increase in productivity of the soil cannot be dismissed for the simple reason that the country’s food basket has to be filled consistently with the burgeoning population.
Until the time of India’s hurried adoption of Western technology and proven know-how in different sectors of economic activities, notably agriculture and industry, the nation’s people seem to have managed the balance between the resources and their life’s needs fairly satisfactorily, a legacy that has begun to look like obsolete. The nation has got perched itself on razor’s edge as it were in keeping this balance in equilibrium state, given the decreasing per capita land area for agriculture and a steady and rapid rise in the land area for all other needs (dwellings, roads, industry, civil infrastructure, trade, commerce and so on).
Apart from and in addition to the feature of traditional agro practices getting out of favour, even the trades, in a long list, that provided livelihood to people in large numbers have yielded place to mechanisation. Thus, the nation’s people find themselves at cross roads having lost its legacy of tradition at ways of life.