On Farm Bills, Catchy Hashtags From Government Aren’t Enough

Farmers have traditionally been the most favored vote bank for any political party. Notwithstanding the continuously abysmal growth rate of agriculture of 1-2% since Independence, the majority of election issues revolve around farmers. Not that this political attention has benefited the Indian farmer in any manner so far.

For a change, the recent days have seen some action along with the usual lip service paid to the sector. The Modi Government, in its usual big bang style, has passed bills in parliament seeking to change the age-old system of procurement through the government-sponsored Mandis despite steep opposition from even their own allies. Heralding it as a path-breaking reform, just as most actions of the current government end up these days, window-dressed in catchy social media hashtags, the government says it has allowed farmers to sell directly to corporates along with the opportunity of land consolidation through contract farming. The PM tweeted offering increased procurement options and cutting out middlemen, thereby professing to benefit the farmer via better realized prices and increased private investments.

Farmers protesting nationwide against the farmers bill

The state actively purchases paddy and wheat through government-sponsored Mandis. In a country where over 60% of farmers are small and marginal with low access to finance, technology and markets, farmers are now completely dependent on the Administered Price Mechanism offered in Mandis. This is intended to assure the farmers of a Minimum Support Price for their produce and deflect any distressed selling. The annually increasing MSP is invariably higher than market prices, since the high cost of farming doesn’t allow for profits otherwise. However, the reality is quite different – farmers are often dependent on middlemen to access these Mandis due to bureaucratic obstacles and fall victim to money lenders.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) incurs an annual subsidy bill of over one lakh crore, buying at higher prices and selling at subsidized rates attributed to the Public Distribution System or PDS. Apart from Punjab and Haryana, where the FCI purchases directly, most other states do so through their civil supply corporations on behalf of FCI. The governments of Punjab and Haryana generate substantial revenue through their Mandis. They tend to have an organized middlemen aggregator system which has probably resulted in these massive protests.

Other states haven’t really escaped such a fate in entirety. Even now, farmers are often forced to sell directly to millers at a discount of over 25% on the MSP. Those who manage to get access to Mandis normally get 5%-10% price cuts on one pretext or the other. Low procurement targets set by FCI to reduce the subsidy bill results in farmers undertaking distress sales in the shadow market, a practice now legalized by these bills.

There is no doubt that the current system has many inefficiencies and much red tape, resulting in a corrupt alliance between middlemen and rent-seeking establishments. Certainly, the current system needed reform and overhaul, but not just one limited to catchy phrases. On the face of it, increased competition should result in a more efficient market and certainly, it is a bold to attempt to shake off the appendages of a massively entrenched system with many vested interests.

But, no doubt driven by the desire of reducing the massive subsidy burden, the state takes the first step towards dismantling the APM system. The final goal remains the removal of MSP and equating it with market prices. So will increased competitiveness between such unequal partners lead to better price realization – this is the key question. My own experience in bringing a large retailer to attempt to buy non-APM agro commodities directly from farmers was an eye-opener. The farmers complained that they were offered lower prices than that offered by the traditional middlemen. The negotiating might of large corporates stacks up unfairly against disparate small and marginal farmers. Without state intervention, it is likely that the latter will be exploited and worse off.

Theoretically on the correct path, the Modi Government has faltered in implementation on many fronts. The currently stressed GST, demonetization and economic disarray stands testimony to this. The affinity to pander to headline-management rather than deal with the realities of COVID crisis has resulted in India being one of the worst affected, with the fastest infection growth rate in the world. This was despite an intensely severe and economically crippling lockdown, resulting in massive distress to migrant labor. States moved to open new COVID hospitals in stadiums and schools without adequate ICUs, Oxygen Support and ventilators, turning them into mere isolation centers. Today, the country runs short of ICU beds.

Indian agriculture continues to be plagued with structural defects and remains noncompetitive in international markets. My fear is that this move in isolation will further enhance rural distress. With the majority of rural India still dependent on inefficient methods of agriculture, it is imperative that the government ensures financial access to marginal farmers to increase productivity by using technology and other resources. Mere market access cannot replace investment in irrigation, something sorely lacking for the last few decades. Bihar’s experiment with doing away APM hasn’t resulted in any increase in private sector investment in warehousing or last mile irrigation connectivity, with farmers struggling to get support price.

Unfortunately, the promise of the PM to double farmers’ incomes requires more wholesome and long-term thinking on reforms for the agrarian sector, which continues to evade the election-oriented polity and status quoits bureaucracy in India.

Why SSR’s Death Feels So Personal?

Sushant’s career growth felt personal. We saw him evolve from the small screen to dance reality shows and eventually to Bollywood with ‘Kai Po Che’ (2013).

His was a remarkable journey, from a small-town boy who dropped out of one of India’s best engineering colleges to find success in showbiz.

Sushant’s on-screen roles reflected his real-life persona. Be it Pavitra Rishta’s Manav Deshmukh- a quintessential nice guy or Kai Po Che’s Ishaan- a former district-level cricketer, who wanted to establish an academy to help budding sportspersons.

One can’t forget his portrayal of former Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni in Neeraj Pandey’s namesake 2016 blockbuster.

It is difficult to imagine someone else essaying the role of Dhoni with such ease. After all, just like MSD, Sushant came from a small town and remained humble even after achieving success.

He got to play an engineer on the big screen in his last theatrical release ‘Chhichhore’ (2019).

And then one day, he was gone and his death hit us close to home. Sushant was rare. Who would have imagined an actor to have a telescope at home?

He was as passionate about astronomy as he was about acting. Sushant showed us that one did not need to leave behind their past dreams in order to pursue new ones.

He fondly remembered his life as an engineering student.

This again made him unique as many who enter a creative field from an academic one often shun their previous lives as something that they did not enjoy.

Actors frequently talk about playing relatable roles but they hardly stress on striking a chord with the people in real life.

Sushant did not have to try. He was one of us.

Justice is one thing, Permanent Solution is the Key! #hathrasgangrape

I seriously fail to understand why and how a man can man do this! Is lack or education, or mysogyny or social conditioning responsible for it?

Media, known as the fourth pillar of democracy is silent this time. Like how?!

Former Judge of Supreme Court of India (along with idk how many more men) says that the sex is a natural urge un men and that after food, the next requirement is sex. WOW! And then we expect the country to progress.

– There are so many things I want to write about the misogynistic patriarchal and unsafe society we live in, but ultimately, what’s the whole point? Will that make a difference?

I hope the family of this girl gets justice, but more than that I wish this incident brings a change in the mindset of people.

For collaborations, guest post, freelancing, (or even for normal conversation), feel free to ping me on:

Email- mahimajalan.noida@gmail.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themillennialwriter1/

Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award

I have been nominated for “Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award” by D.S. Chauhan. He writes amazing travel blogs where he shares his travel experience in different parts of the world. Thank you so much sir for nominating me in this category, so grateful and happy that finally after so many years of hard work and dedication on WordPress, people have started appreciating and acknowledging my work. Also, your feedback on my blogs is so motivating every time. Guys, please do follow him, and thank me later for his genuine amazing feedback and wonderful blogs! https://travelandshare.travel.blog/author/dschauhanamd/

Rules for the award are:

  • Thank the person who has nominated you and provide a link back to his/her blog.
  • Answer their questions.
  • Nominate up to 9 other bloggers and ask them 5 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees through their blog by visiting and commenting on their blog.
  • List the rules and display the “Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award” logo.

Provide the link of the Award creator of Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award as Journey in his word www.journeythroughlifeministries.com

Questions by D.S. Chauhan are: (Also thanks a lot for asking, my WordPress family will get to know me better now)

1) How did you take up blogging?

Answer: Writing has been my hobby since childhood, so while I was pursuing my graduation, I got to know about this platform and was pretty sure this is what I want to do!

2) What inspired you to start blogging?

Answer: Blogging gives me a sense of freedom. I feel liberated from my parents, peers, society, and everyone else while writing. Being a free soul but a trapped body, blogging works as a great escape for me!! So that’s how my blogging journey began.

3) What did you find interesting in blogging ?

Answer: It’s ability to hone your creativity and change/improve perspective towards life. Plus it’s an all time therapy for me!

4) How much time do you devote to blogging?

Answer: While earlier I was barely able to devote my time to it, now I ensure giving at least 30-45 minutes to it a day.

5) Do you want to use blogging as a simple hobby or a profession?

Answer: Definitely as a profession. I am a budding content writer and a blogger.

I further nominate the following people:

https://enaaghuman.wordpress.com/author/jeevanjotghuman/

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/64030003

https://daneelyunus.com/

https://ckonfab.com/

https://topeducationhub.com/

https://thenoticeable.blog/

https://copypowerblog.wordpress.com/

https://randomnessinked.wordpress.com/

https://gsethi2409.wordpress.com/

My questions for my nominees are:

  1. Describe yourself in 5 words.
  2. What do you think is the best thing part about your blogs?
  3. How was blogging made an impact on you as a person?
  4. Your advice to the budding bloggers!

Much Love!

Email- mahimajalan.noida@gmail.com 

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/themillennialwriter1/

You Cannot Teach Without Learning

As much as I enjoy learning and exploring new things, it gives me immense joy in sharing what I learn in that process with others. It does not include only the bookish knowledge, but also skills and lessons I learn in the process of exploring.

We often hear LEARNING SHOULD NOT STOP, but there should definitely be a motivational factor that builds a zeal to not stop learning. My motivational force is my passion and enthusiasm, to TEACH others. I feel glad when people ask me anything because I know about it. It is so fulfilling when people look out for you, trust you, and love you because you KNOW about something.

I teach, therefore I learn

Pinterest

Can you relate to this feeling? Also this one is a very short write-up as I just felt like sharing my thoughts on this topic! Would love if you suggest me topics you would like me to talk about 🙂

Always ready for fun/deep/insightful/beautiful conversations on:

Email- mahimajalan.noida@gmail.com 

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/themillennialwriter1/

On Farm Bills, Catchy Hashtags From Government Aren’t Enough

Farmers have traditionally been the most favored vote bank for any political party. Notwithstanding the continuously abysmal growth rate of agriculture of 1-2% since Independence, the majority of election issues revolve around farmers. Not that this political attention has benefited the Indian farmer in any manner so far. For a change, the recent days have […]

Why SSR’s Death Feels So Personal?

Sushant’s career growth felt personal. We saw him evolve from the small screen to dance reality shows and eventually to Bollywood with ‘Kai Po Che’ (2013). His was a remarkable journey, from a small-town boy who dropped out of one of India’s best engineering colleges to find success in showbiz. Sushant’s on-screen roles reflected his […]

Justice is one thing, Permanent Solution is the Key! #hathrasgangrape

I seriously fail to understand why and how a man can man do this! Is lack or education, or mysogyny or social conditioning responsible for it? – Media, known as the fourth pillar of democracy is silent this time. Like how?! – Former Judge of Supreme Court of India (along with idk how many more […]

Just Listen :)


Sometimes all they want from us is to just listen to them with an open heart & mind, pay attention to them, let them vent out, be their shoulder to cry on. They do not expect any solutions or reply from us, they just want to speak their heart out without any expectations of judgment from us. We think that they are expecting a reply from us, but on contrary they don’t want any solution, but just an ear to listen.

Personally, being a good listener helps us broaden our horizon by getting exposed to other’s ideas, opinions and perspectives. We can learn so much by just being a good listener. Socially, it fosters our relationships with others. People start relying on us. There can be nothing better than being an exceptional listener to somebody. Very often, when someone shares his/her problem with us, we ‘reply’ them telling issues we are dealing with in our life. But does that reduce their pain or makes them feel any better? No! So here’s what you should do rather:

Empathize with them, put yourself in their shoes. If you first seek to understand, you will find yourself being better understood. Don’t be afraid of long silences. Human communication involves much more than words.

Hope you liked this short & honest blog, do share your feedback! 🙂

Much Love!

Email- mahimajalan.noida@gmail.com 

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/themillennialwriter1/

Don’t Be Happy

This one really hit hard to me. I have been pretty much productive after lockdown, which gave me a sense of pride, contentment, and sanity. Until a few days back, even after having ample work to keep myself busy, I had a constant battle with my thoughts, I felt void, unhappy, and mentally sick. I was done with everything. I even took a break from work, but that made things even worse as over-thinking took over. THE ONE WHO TALKS ABOUT POSITIVITY, GRATITUDE, AND LOVE ON HER PAGE FOUND ALL THE THREE MISSING IN HER LIFE!
But the show must go on, so did I. I worked, kept myself engaged, and convinced myself to be okay. Until last night at 3 am when I was done scrolling social media and realized how everyone is battling their own struggles. I realized I had first world problems which were nothing in comparison to those whose life apparently looked perfect. I immediately texted my best friend and ranted about all that was going in my head. She, like always, was a perfect listener & advisor. And after the entire episode, trust me, I felt so much better! I realized I should not pile up stuff in my head, forcefully make myself happy, and unnecessarily keep myself busy. Rather, just vent out everything going on in my head. IT REALLY WORKS!

Who all goes through the same? Share your thoughts! 🙂

WordPress: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mahima-jalan-9318665a/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themillennialwriter1/

Turn ON your ZEN Mode

With a lot of free time in hands, thanks to lockdown, I am sure everyone is hooked to their phones. We know there’s nothing new happening in the outside world, still we are tempted to check Instagram and Snapchat now and then. Social media has become even more addictive (though dull) from the last couple of months.

All I see is people posting ways to keep themselves busy at home. Sometimes it inspires me, but many times, it bothers my mental piece. It sparks a competitive vibe in me, it makes me doubt my productivity level and makes me feel envious of other people’s talent.

Thankfully by reading some self-help book and articles, I realized that everyone is not the same and nobody is your competition. Your only competition is ‘YOU’ and be it lockdown or no lockdown, you have to work on making yourself better from your current version, and not from others.

It was pretty evident to me that my biggest enemy/distraction hampering my ‘ZEN’ state is my phone. My average screen time per day is 8 hours which is insane! Paradoxically, sometimes the best thing our phones could do is encourage us to put them down for a bit and drive our attention elsewhere. It was high time to turn my Zen mode on, so I figured out ways to engage myself, and trust me it worked, my screen time has reduced from last 5 days, I feel more productive, content and positive. So what I did was:

  • Read Novels (Currently Reading Sapiens)
  • Mandala Art (Cannot stress enough on how meditative, relaxing and engaging this activity is)
  • Journaling (My all-time stress-buster)
  • Cooking (I mean helping my mom in cooking)

Time to turn on your ZEN mode guys, share how you guys do it, would love to know and try that! 🙂

Connect with me on:

WordPress: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mahima-jalan-9318665a/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themillennialwriter1/

Social Media Negativity

This post is especially about negativity on ‘social media’, which has become an inseparable toxic part of our life. We spend most of our time on phone scrolling on social media checking what is happening in other’s people life. Undeniably, we have a realisation that it is vandalizing our mental health, leaving a negative impact on our minds. We portray our happiest sides on social media, but when we see the same of others, let’s not deny, we sometimes unwantedly feel insecure, wretched or jealous. For instance, if you are unhappy with your job while at the same time you see your friend posting happy pictures working in his office, you might feel envious. This is human nature and there’s no running away from it. But thanks to social media, no matter how much we attempt to stay positive, it drags us into the pool of negative emotions.

I have tried ‘n’ number to times to uninstall social media apps from my phone, but that has not happened for more than 25 days! I tried diverting myself by reading books, watching shows, blogging and what not but failed to get away from it. I resist as much as I can but then social media has become that inseparable part of my life, that no matter how hard I drive myself, I get back into this toxic relationship. I even ‘unfollowed’ a few accounts which I felt are not doing any good to me. But all this hardly made a minor difference to me.

I am still as addicted to social media as I was earlier, in fact even more now (thanks to lockdown), my mind is over-consumed with unhealthy updates about other people’s lives, I devote hours stalking people I barely know (and then form my opinion about them) and last but not the least, I compare my life with their life (without having any slightest idea about what’s going on the other side of their life which they have not put on social media).

I can see it’s already taking a toll on me. So before it goes beyond accepted limits, please suggest to me what do you guys do to dodge social media negativity? NEGATIVITY

Disappointment

Disappointment is a feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfilment of one’s hopes or expectations. It is a part and parcel of life, and one should be able to understand it & deal with it. While some people choose to stay with this feeling for long, some overcome it in a jiffy and move on. Every time you feel disappointed, you should try to overcome it and come out stronger. There are certain ways that I am going to share, through which dealing with disappointment might become easier. Firstly, ‘keep your expectation level low’, like super low. The more you expect, the more you will end up getting disappointed. If you expect perfection, please adjust your expectations. Secondly, ‘accept it’. Easier said than done, but if we learn the art of acceptance, disappointments will look less scary. Don’t try to push it away or hide it under a big smile. Let the emotions flow, it might hurt for a while, but in the long run, it will feel less painful and more relaxed. Thirdly, ‘learn from it’. Every failure comes with a lesson. You have to discover what went wrong and ensure to not repeat that next time. Setbacks and disappointments are an indication of living your life fully. A sign of you trying to grow and improve your situation. You have to realize that one failure or disappointment does not mean the end of the world. In fact, it opens door to bigger and better things. A slight change in perspective can help you lead a happier life. Now it is up to you to decide the kind of life you want to live! One cannot completely eliminate the feeling of disappointment from his head, but with little change in perception, one can achieve the ability to handle it with much ease.

P.s I have created a new Instagram account (https://www.instagram.com/themillennialwriter1/) Please show some love.

So I am doing an A-Z Alphabet Challenge there, where every day I talk little about a topic in alphabetical order. So this post is also taken from there as today’s letter was ‘D’. If you are on Instagram, I would be glad if you show your love and support there as well, let’s build a stronger community and support each other. My purpose of creating an account there is to be more consistent with writing and connect with more people of this community.

Thank You!