Having now worked in one of the poorer parts of rural india for some time, I wanted to make a few points and observations
• Only a small fraction of tax revenue comes from rural India, but a major and disproportionate part of the expense goes to rural India. And it is appropriate in a pre-dominant rural and developing nation.
• This expense is in form of infrastructure, various poverty alleviation schemes, social reforms, agriculture development, other income generation models, subsidies etc and is spent by the govt. Thousands of schemes.
• All these money’s through the schemes, contracts and infrastructure are cornered by politicians and their supporters/contractors.
• Therefore in Rural India, the politician are the new monarchs and they are treated as such with people milling around them and each of their meetings overflowing. Money gets power and power gets money. It’s what I call a Monarcracy ( monarchs elected in democratic manner) ☺
• Farming is unviable and while one can survive while being farmers, it cannot lead to prosperity.
• Every village has various groups from each of the major political parties and get the largesse if their party nominees win. Therefore, villages have tremendous internal and in some ways, vicious politics. The biggest business in rural india is politics.
• There is so much corruption and leakages in all schemes and contracts, that there is an incestuous relationship between administration, politicians and contractors. If you see large houses or cars or luxury in rural india – it’s the contractors (most of them are politically connected).
• Unless farmer earns from farms and agriculture ~ this will continue. Loans, waivers, more expenditure, less leakages, small industries, increased subsidies, waivers, other sources of income generation may be a band-aid on the cancer within. The problem is deep rooted and will have to dealt in an appropriate manner.
• Today, the youth does not get attracted to farming, people are not willing to give their daughters to farmers and there is no respect for farming community.
Unless some serious paradigm shifts take place in policies and rural management, I shudder to think what will we do after 25 years, when our youth is so reluctant to get into core agriculture.