Reminiscence of life

Slowly but silently hundreds of farmers are ending their lives in the State, yet government is in a denial mood.

According to information availed under the Rights to information act from the State Crime Records Bureau, a wing of central Home Ministry providing data to National Crime Record Bureau, 2585 farmers have committed suicide in 2010 alone where as the figures provided by the department of law and order (Home Minister) says that 126 farmers ended their life in that year.

The state Law and Order department, in its reply to a RTI application said that 835 farmers have committed suicide from 2006 to 2010, where as the State crimes record bureau said 10,459 farmers killed themselves during the same period.

State Agriculture minister, Umesh Katti seems to be unaware of the grim situation facing farmers as 408 farmers committed suicide in his own district in-charge -
Belgaum in 2010.

Belgaum, which is known as the sugar bowl of Karnataka, ranked first with 408 farmers suicides, which is the worst in any district in Karnataka in the last decade, followed by Chitradurga (319) and Chikmagalur (261). This number is stunning as the district had not shown such a poor record in the previous years. The border dispute district had recorded 22 farmers’ suicide cases in 2009, 16 in 2008 and 17 deaths in 2007.


State government’s record

(Law and order- Home Minister )

National/State Crime Record Bureau

















27 (Till March 31, 2011)

Not available

Of-course the state government figures showed that only 9 farmers died in 2010.

Experts and farmer leaders said that total dependency on sugarcane industry and failure of dry crops were the reasons for such a high rate of deaths in the region.

Belgaum farmers are totally dependent on the sugarcane factories, as they are the only major customers for them. With these factories neglecting or not paying the due amount in time; this has resulted in farmers taking the extreme step of ending their life,” said Kadidala Shamanna, a farmer leader.

Chitradurga is consistently maintaining its sad list record of farmer’s suicide. On an average Chitradurga has been losing 223 farmers per-year in the last decade, with highest being recorded in 2010 (319) and lowest 124 in 2001. The district does not have proper irrigation facility and has been facing severe drought for many years.

Except for Kolar and the newly formed Chickaballapur district, which recorded zero farmers’ suicide case since 2007, other districts have been seeing an increase in the farmer’s untimely deaths.

2010 not the worst

Around 2,224 farmers have committed suicide in Karnataka every year in the last decade. Year 2003 saw the worst figure; as many as 2678 farmers ended their lives, while the year 2000 saw 2630 farmer suicide cases. 2006 saw the least number of farmers (1720) committing suicide.

CM’s unfulfilled oath

B S Yeddyurappa’s who took charge as the Chief Minster with an oath in the name of farmers, has left the agriculture community high and dry. The Chief Minister, who is also the finance minister of the state, has promised many sops to the farming community has failed to arrest the deaths in his own constituency- Shimoga, as it has been recording more than 150 farmers suicide cases since 2008 (the year he took charge as Chief Minister). Last year Shimoga, which ranks fifth in the number farmers deaths, reported 175 cases.

Experts have rubbished the claim of government doing a lot for the farmers. They termed the three per-cent loan to farmers as an eye wash. “We don’t want loan wavier. All we want is scientific rates for our produce. We are ready to pay interest at industrial rates if scientific rates are given,” said Secretory General of Karnataka Rajya Raithasanga and Hasiru Sena, H S Basawarajappa. “The government policies, both state and centre, are crooked and consumer oriented. More than farmers’ governments are interested in investors. ‘’

“There are various reasons for the death of farmers in Karnataka, fertile land acquisition for the industrialization, drought or floods, failure of crops due to various reasons and the burden of loans from Banks and private money lenders all force the farmer to take the extreme step,” said H S Basawarajappa.

The response from the state government acknowledged all the above reasons as existent.

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Has not excavated fully. There are half baked feelings, desires and ambitions. But a heart to complete and compel.

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