Ajit Balakrishnan: India's Grapes of Wrath


When I read yet another report about a farmer who commits suicide, I sit transfixed trying to imagine the depths of despair a man must sink to before he decides to kill himself and abandon his family to the mercy of a world that he himself could not face.  Was it an act of irresponsibility? Was he a wastrel? Or has the crisis in Indian agriculture become so deep that many farmers have reached a dead end? Or, as many newspaper reports seem to imply, are moneylenders in rural India snaring innocent farmers to pledge their bullocks and land on such usurious terms that the farmer has no ...