ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Suicides Despite Compensation

As appalling incidents of farmers’ sui- cides shake the nation every year, we begin to introspect why farmers are compelled to take this extreme step even when the government announces compensation. The complex framework within which the estimation of the crop damage is carried out and compensation disbursed by the bureaucracy is replete with corruption at various stages and in different forms. Perhaps, this could be one of the reasons compensation is not reaching the affected farmers.

However, the essence of the problem lies in the identification of the real victims of crop damage, almost unattainable without an understanding of the complex land relations in India. In rural India, land is either cultivated by the owner himself (sometimes with the help of hired labour) or by leasing out the land on a share or fixed basis. The lease on fixed rent is an agreement between the lessor and the lessee, under which the lessee pays some predetermined fixed amount to the lessor in return for using his land. Under the share crop arrangement between the lessor and the lessee, instead of taking a fixed payment, the lessor prefers to share the final output.

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