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.


  1. And yes, along with all these, farmers also now how to 'deal with uncertainties'. That is one important aspect of life.

  2. @ aativas Savitaji, It is 10,000 year history, not now, long before Civilized Societies evolved with their centralized power system, and City as their power symbol called Urban Revolution – a curse on nature, other humans and life at large. The Uncertainties that you mention does not include those inflicted by the Industrial Civilization.
    Does anyone recognizes Farming as Art?

  3. Its time that we reduce the dependency on mother nature and go for Urban Farming and Vertical farming techniques. Farming is indeed an art and imbibing sustainability to it will surely make it more productive.
    Nevertheless, a great post indeed !!

  4. @amit ganguly Thanks Amit for visiting my blog.
    I am humble child of Mother Nature, and don’t treat Mother Nature as commodity, the way my biological mother, father, children, teachers, friends...etc are. How can I separate myself from Mother Nature when she is within me and beyond Earth?

    Urban centres are becoming parasites living on resources provided by regions that are lifeline of all living beings on earth.

  5. @ amit ganguli
    70% of 1225 millions of us are living in rural India: Majority of them is peasants. 300 mn persons live Below Poverty Line. 400 mn people of us are illiterate. Our farmers continue to commit suicides... All this despite so-called progress and development! Ha! Ha! Ha!

    Cities live a life of hydroponics. How much food can we produce on balconies and terraces by hydroponic system? Who/what are we? Please check my posts on farming/farmers.