[act-ma] Sat Sep 12 MIT 4-231: Talk on Indian Agrarian Situation

umang kumar umkumar at gmail.com
Thu Sep 10 15:56:53 PDT 2009




With journalist and researcher JAIDEEP HARDIKAR, a National Media Fellow and
KK Birla Foundation Fellow who has done extensive research on Vidarbha and
the plight of the people displaced due to development project.

4 PM, 12th SEPTEMBER at MIT ROOM 4-231

Close to 200,000 farmers have killed themselves in India since 1997, over
40,000 of them in Maharashtra state of India alone, and a majority of them
in Vidarbha region.  Once known as a bread basket, the Warhad region or
Vidarbha as it is popularly known, remains a grim statistic - a metaphor for
all that has gone wrong with the agrarian society in India.

As a journalist Jaideep has covered for the the issue that goes way beyond
the suicides. Local, regional, state-level, national and international
factors make it one of the most complicated and complex issues of our time.
Jaideep believes that our response to it will shape future generations and
the nation as well. But why has Vidarbha, the land of plenty, nay the entire
rural India come to such a pass, in the first place? What went wrong? What's
working? And what could be the possible policy solutions - Listen to Jaideep
and know what we can do to help.

Jaideep works hard on his stories and writes with real human concern about
the problems of those people, who are displaced by the development projects.
He received the KK Birla Foundation Fellowship and covered seven states and
15 developmental projects to understand how people live after being
displaced, what they do to eke out a living and whether they benefit from
the projects that run over their lives. As an outcome of that project he has
written a book which is to be published shortly.

Traveling in some of the remote areas of India where the development
projects have uprooted thousands of poor dalit and tribal communities, he
virtually saw what he describes as castles over graves. When he chose to
work on the distress or forced interstate migration he received the National
Media Fellowship of the National Foundation for India in 2002.

A series of articles by Jaideep on the Vidarbha issue can be found here:

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