Monday, 16 May 2011

Indian Farmers' Woes and Joys

Key Word: Art, Farming (i.e. Agriculture, Aquaculture and Horticulture (forestry) collectively or separate)

Five Elements
Traditional farmers’ lives that depend on monsoon are almost identical in many regions of the world. Hence the following text is inclusive.

Very few would ever believe farmers are artists. Farmers' art is most risky vocation, among all types of occupations, professions and vocations. Even a few may not understand this fact though they may know what is farming.
Haiku by Remigius de Souza
Farmer's art takes place on real field down to earth. Like in words, painting, photography etc. it does not create virtual reality. Farmers take the colours from Mother Nature - Srishti, of five elements, Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space, and on a canvas of small or big plot of land; he works with contemplation. They are never verbose. They are fully in contact with every nook and corner of their farm; likewise the health of all the plants.
Haiku by Remigius de Souza
Farmers are not only artists, they are also planners, but not like town planners, who flatten the lakes and land, and cut it into pieces, make their 2D drawings to build 3D art of cities. Farmers use undulating land for management and conservation of water and land.
Poem by Remigius de Souza
Farmers are management experts, too! They manage land, water, seeds, fodder, weeding, manure, tools, carting, storage, other food crops, rearing animals and birds. And equally important are the repairs, maintenance, examination, improvement and policy planning in every aspect of home and farm, which is part of their homestead. All of these, they do within available resources. Many farmers may be ill-literate but are not 'un-educated' as the elite think.
Poem by Remigius de Souza
Traditional sculptors, for years, make Ganesha, Durga idols in clay. They are aware the deities are to be immersed. Yet they work with devotion, faith, without boredom. Farmers too work with same dedication. Their labour of love, therefore, is elevated to the status of 'vocation', of art. In their karma there is element of contemplation – Dhyan – hence it is 'spiritual' too. Traditional farming also involves action by Community Participation.
Haiku by Remgius de Souza
Politicians are like white clouds.
The educated elite class have an impression that farmers work only four months (during the season) and the rest of year lazy around. Even the experts like Amartya Sen are not exception. What about the governments and bureaucrats?
Haiku by Remigius de Souza | Image by Soojung Cho
More than natural calamities, the real cause of farmers' woes and miseries are the government and bureaucracy, market and industry, and their wrong priorities of progress and development.

Note: There is lot to learn from farmers:
1. Watering the farms: Learning from the people. Governments could learn how to save resources, particularly currency spent for development, and seal its draining at the bureaucratic level - the starting point, which consumes its major part.
2. Cow dung, Rice and Amartya Sen (a critique):Challenges of 21st Century
3. SEE: Soojung Cho’s Artworks of Inner Vision ( )
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©Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.