Towards Solution of Farmers’ Woes

The necessity for MSP has arisen only because of faulty government policies. The free foodgrain distribution in rural areas has closed local markets for farmers and the added disadvantage of state government’s closing borders make it worse. Only a few years ago no one was interested in selling foodgrains at government mandis, but now it has become a compulsion. Please note, farmers are never a burden for any society. Politicians are, and the unnecessary surplus government employees who’re sucking the taxpayer’s hard earned money.

It’s good that the government is trimming up their staff, but I come across many unnecessary staff in offices. Peons, too many clerical staff, petty officers, and they almost always render online interactions with government agencies ineffective for obvious reasons.

Farmers on the other hand work hard for a living and make do with the little earning they have.

The new breed of ‘farmers’ that we are seeing at these protests are middlemen and traders who again deal with these utterly corrupt government agencies. So you see, from any angle one sees, all these problems originate from government inefficiency/malevolent machinations.

The present government may wash their hands off the responsibility saying that they’re not responsible for the ugly state of affairs and all this is Congress doing, but still the transition must be gradual so that majority of farmers do not suffer an economic shock.

Even at government mandis in present situation farmers must deal with farmers cooperative secretaries, rice mill supervisors etc so that their produce is lifted without hurdle. They invariably take a cut, their Shylock’s pound of flesh. The only solution lies in government completely disengaging from any farm related business. But first free foodgrain distribution must stop asap. After that the government must totally stop procurement of farm produce. The demand and supply will take care of the prices.

But selective permits for rice, pulses, oil, and flour mills also must stop. Otherwise they’re going to hoard stocks and compel farmers for distress sale.

The foodgrain and oil market must be made as free and transparent as the fish, poultry, diary and vegetable market.

Ch Navakanta Mishra


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

China Lover Justin Trudeau

One interesting fact about Justin Trudeau is that about this time last year he had invited the People’s Liberation Army(PLA) of China for a military exercise with the Canadian Armed Forces(CAF) at their Ontario military base to train them in winter survival.

Fortunately it didn’t materialize as the Canadian Army Chief refused to go about it. The Trudeau government and the Canadian Army had a war of letters on this.

The point of concern is, why the PLA was so eager to train it’s military forces on survival in extreme cold situations? The answer is clear seeing the Galwan Valley border conflict with India which took place a few months afterwards and has stretched into the winter, the Himalayan winter being amongst the harshest with temperatures falling below -25 degree Celcius.

It’s easy to understand why the PLA would want that, but the Canadian government’s clear animosity towards India is unclear. May be a result of Trudeau’s personal animosity towards the American Government. It’s quite possible that Mr Trump and his administration put a brake to Trudeau’s plans.

It’s interesting to note that Canada has the largest Chinese diaspora. It’s also interesting to note that according to a recent survey 85% of Canadians have an unfavourable opinion about the Chinese, and Canada gave recognization to the Chinese Communist Party government only in 1971.

Ch Navakanta Mishra

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Canada Concerned

The Canadian PM lends his support for peaceful farmers’ protest in India. There is a bill presented in the UK Parliament expressing solidarity with the peaceful farmers’ protesters in India, the UNO showing ‘concern’ over the peaceful farmers’ protest in India, and now a big car rally out in California showing solidarity with the peaceful farmers’ protest in India.

No, please do not be outraged. Just think back only a few years back during the UPA rule when each day dawned with a new scam here which made us cringe in shame as a nation. In the international stage no one really cared about India as a country of any significant value, very much tainted for widespread corruption and Indian conmen were caught running fake universities in the US, and Indian doctors were caught with fake certificates in Australia, and a drunk Indian businessman leering at an airhostess on some airlines being forcibly grounded and so on.

Now India is amongst the best economic powers, has proven it’s formidable military power, has been invited to OIC summit at their peak convention, has been invited to the G 7 and the numbers are proposed to be expanded to include India. India is no more famous for the abovementioned negative reasons, but for many positive things happening.

It’s good that a peaceful demonstration in our big and vibrant democracy draws so much international concern.

It means we are on the right track.

–Ch Navakanta Mishra

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saif’s Adipurush

Well, there are so many things in the Ramayana which a modern mind may question, and justly.

1-The cutting off of a woman’s nose who’s infatuated with you.
2-Asking your wife to enter fire in order to prove her fidelity, and that also in public.
3-Abandoning your pregnant wife in a dense forest to fend for herself, just because someone somewhere cast a doubt on her character.

In fact, in all ancient epics from all around the world it’s possible to find many acts of celebrated heroes which are not in conformity with modern thinking. Greek epics can be revolting to your senses at certain points.

I myself, a Hindu and Brahmin, am sometimes shocked at the lowly behaviours of some gods and supposedly great men whilst going through our Sastras and Puranas. Let alone saintly men, they may not behave even like an ordinary conscientious person! At certain points they may behave like worst criminals. But it may be brought into mind that these epics were ‘written’ thousands of years ago, and where the Ramayana is concerned, may be five thousand years ago.

It must be undestood that we as a community have evolved, have had many reforms, and most of us do not agree with all these writings word to word. We take the good things and leave the obsolete and bad things behind.

Saif Ali Khan is welcome to show the humane side of Ravana, but he certainly can’t justify the abduction of someone’s wife by force to any sane mind.

Especially when he has named his son after the most demonic invader in Indian history, who committed genocide, decapitated one million Hindus, and built a victory gate with their skulls in Delhi which could be sighted from forty kilometres away.

–Ch Navakanta Mishra

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Do Subsidies Help?

Do government subsidies really benefit farmers? Subsidies never really help farmers, but creates vested interests and an environment where a genuine farmer/entrepreneur can not compete. In the eighties I was marketing diesel pumpsets and accessories, powertillers, and rarely some tractors and I know.

A 5 hp diesel pumpset cost the farmer approx Rs 10,000 in those times. He’d get 50% subsidy. So he pays Rs 5,000 de facto.

A diesel pumpset cost Rs 2,500 at distributor point, Rs 5,000 at dealer retail, and the remaining Rs 5,000 usually went to bank/cooperative officers and assistant engineers who would be releasing subsidy money. Similar story with tractors, powertillers and other agro implements.

But if a farmer goes to retail dealer shop and buys with cash without going through the system, he will be charged full Rs 10,000, because of this toxic environment. There is no escape. No dealer can sell directly at Rs 5,000 as cash purchases were rare and he’d be out of business soon.

If subsidy were not there, anyone could buy at Rs 5,000.

The seed processing units also are controlled by government corporations. I also used to grow seeds for them. The subsidy is spent on salaries and perks. I can easily set up a seed processing plant and produce much better quality seeds(especially foodgrains and pulses), but private players can not survive in the present subsidy environment. As a result traders sell low quality seeds to these corporations through bribes and farmers suffer by buying these poor quality products.

I can go on and on about this. But it’s difficult for a common farmer to comprehend the complex cobwebs of corruption.


Ch Navakanta Mishra

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Farm Act Amendment 2020

What are these Indian Farm Reforms 2020 bills that the ‘protesters’ are so upset about ? In fact it’s three bills passed in our Parliament recently, but here I’ll present one of them first, as I have always been writing about the urgent necessity of discarding the British era residue Essential Commodities Act.

1-Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020.

The amended act expands the scope of trade areas of farmers produce from select areas to “any place of production, collection, and aggregation”.

The act allows electronic trading and e-commerce of scheduled farmers’ produce.

State governments are prohibited from excessive market fees of any kind.

Farmers (Empowerment and Protection). Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020.

The act provides a legal framework for farmers to enter into pre-arranged contracts with buyers including mention of pricing.

The act provides for a dispute resolution mechanism.

Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The act allows for the center to regulate food items through essential commodities.

The act provides for a stock limit on agricultural produce based on price rise.

2-The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020.

Permits intra-state and inter-state trade of farmers’ produce beyond the physical premises of Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) markets and other markets notified under the state APMC Acts.

3-The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020.

Creates a national framework for contract farming through an agreement between a farmer and a buyer before the production or rearing of any farm produce.

It would have been in the best interest of all if the restrictions and imposed State Power were completely done away with where Essential Commodities Act is concerned. Any restriction will empower the bureaucracy to interfere in farming sector activities which in turn will breed corruption.

Ch Navakanta Mishra

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Boita Bandana

Today is the last full moon tithi Kattik Purnima, which is also the last day of the holiest month of Kartika in Hindu lunar calendar. This day is celebrated in my province with ‘boita bandana’, which is floating miniature ancient ships in water bodies with lighted lamps in them. In fact Odisha celebrates many traditional festivals. One that is unique to the state is the ceremony of Boita-Bandana (worshipping of boats) in October or November (the date is set to the Hindu calendar). At dawn of the full moon night people gather near riverbanks or the seashores and float miniature boats in remembrance of their ancestors who once sailed to faraway lands, such as Malaysia and Indonesia.

Since its earliest known history, the land that roughly corresponds to present-day Odisha has gone by various names, most notably Utkala, Kalinga, and Odra Desha , which appeared in ancient literature as designations for particular tribes. The ancient Greeks knew the latter two groups as Kalingai and Oretes. Those names eventually became identified with specific territories.

At the dawn of Indian history, Kalinga was already a famous and formidable political power. Buddhist sources refer to the rule of King Brahmadatta in Kalinga at the time of the Buddha’s death, sometime between the 6th and the 4th century BCE. In the 4th century BCE the first Indian empire builder, Mahapadma Nanda, founder of the Nanda dynasty, conquered Kalinga, but the Nanda rule was short-lived. In 260 BCE the Mauryan emperor Ashoka invaded Kalinga and fought one of the greatest wars of ancient history. He then renounced war, became a Buddhist, and preached peace and nonviolence in and outside India. In the first century BCE the Kalinga emperor Kharavela conquered vast territories that collectively came to be called the Kalinga empire.

In the first century CE Kalinga emerged as a maritime power. Its overseas activities possibly involved the establishment in the 8th century of the Shailendra empire on the Southeast Asian island of Java, now in Indonesia. Kalinga was ruled by the powerful Bhauma-Kara dynasty during the 8th, 9th, and 10th centuries, followed by the Soma kings until the 11th century. Construction of the 11th-century temple of Lingaraja at Bhubaneshwar, the greatest Shaiva monument of India, was begun by the Soma king Yayati.

Kalinga enjoyed a golden age under the Ganga dynasty. The Ganga ruler Anantavarman Chodagangadeva (1078–1147) ruled from the Ganges River to the Godavari River with Cuttack as his capital. He began the construction of the temple of Jagannatha (“Lord of the World”) at Puri. Narasimha I (1238–64) built the Sun Temple (Surya Mandir) of Konark, one of the finest specimens of Hindu architecture. In the 13th and 14th centuries, when much of India came under the rule of Muslim powers, independent Kalinga remained a citadel of Hindu religion, philosophy, art, and architecture.

The Gangas were succeeded by the Surya dynasty. Its first king, Kapilendra (1435–66), won territories from his Muslim neighbours and greatly expanded the Kalinga kingdom. His successor, Purushottama, maintained those gains with difficulty. The next and the last Surya king, Prataparudra, became a disciple of Chaitanya, the great Hindu mystic, and became a pacifist. After Prataparudra’s death in 1540, the kingdom’s power declined, and in 1568, when King Mukunda was killed by his own countrymen, it lost its independence to the Afghan rulers of Bengal.

It was sometime between the 11th and 16th centuries that the name Kalinga fell into disuse. In its place arose the old tribal name Odra Desha, which was gradually transformed into Odisha (or Uddisha, or Udisa), which in English became Orissa; that spelling persisted until the original Odisha was reinstated in the early 21st century. The language of the region came to be known as Odia.

The Mughal emperor Akbar wrested Odisha from the Afghans in 1590–92. When the Mughal Empire fell in the mid-18th century, part of Odisha remained under the nawabs (provincial governors of Mughal India) of Bengal, but the greater part passed to the Marathas, who ruled much of South India between the 16th and 19th centuries. The Bengal sector came under British rule in 1757 after the Battle of Plassey (near present-day Palashi), and the Maratha sector was conquered by the British in 1803. Although after 1803 the British controlled the entire Odia-speaking area, it continued to be administered as two units. It was not until April 1, 1936, that the British heeded calls for unification on a linguistic basis and constituted Orissa as a separate province. However, 26 Odia princely states remained outside the provincial administration. After the independence of India in 1947, the territory of Orissa was expanded to include all the princely states except Saraikela and Kharsawan, which were absorbed by Bihar. Orissa became a state of India in 1950.

—-Ch Navakanta Mishra

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Punjab Farmers’ Protest

This is clearly a conspiracy by malevolent forces to create anarchy. I have serious doubts farmers will go to such length and do such meticulous planning left to themselves. They want to create another Shaheenbagh situation. Last time the caste based rioting attempt in UP failed. This also will fail, for the people are with Modi government at the moment.

As a farmer myself, the first thing I want is for corporate houses approaching me and guaranteeing to lift my agro products at a predetermined price. We had such successful farming activities here in Odisha in the nineties because of Shakti Sugar Mills. Then the Janaki Pattnaik Congress hoodlums extracted crore of rupees from them through intimidation. Shakti Sugars could not extend incentives to farmers after that. I have witnessed it all through as I was one of their biggest farmers and used to interact directly with their General Manager.

Here also we are witnessing something similar, Congress and Communists blackmailing the Corporate houses into paying them a cut.

There is another aspect to it also. There was a time when people were least interested in government MSP, but when free food grains were distributed the local markets dried up for farmers and they were compelled to sell at local Farmers cooperatives and mandis which are controlled by local political touts. This in turn made farmers slaves to extensive corruption and local political ‘workers’.

For farmers to get out of this vicious trap, first of all this freebie food grain distribution must stop. The poor can be given direct to account cash. Thus the local rural agro economy can be revived for farmers. Then there would be no need for the government to buy or sell food grains at all. Before free food grain programs although there was government minimum support price (MSP), yet not many farmers were interested in selling at government name is as the price difference was negligible.

But in this system of high corruption too many vested interests are involved who live off hard work of real farmers. The Congress engineered protest we are seeing now is fired by these vested interests. Because they know it very well that the next step of the central government is going to be Universal Income Scheme, which in it’s turn will render MSP useless, lifting of Public Distribution System(PDS), and an end to the government buying and selling foodgrains.

Ch Navakanta Mishra

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Keep Your Eyes Open, and Mind

In 1997, fourteen year old Nathan Zohner presented his science fair project to his classmates, seeking to ban a highly toxic chemical from it’s everyday use.

The chemical in question? Dihydrogen monoxide.

Throughout his presentation, Zohner provided his audience scientifically correct evidence as to why this chemical should be banned.

He explained that dihydrogen monoxide:

1-Causes severe burns while it’s in gas form,

2-Corrodes and rusts metal,

3-Kills countless people annually,

4-Is commonly found in tumors and acid rain,

5-Causes excessive urination and bloating if consumed in higher quantity,

6-Is able to kill you if you depend on it and then experience an extended withdrawal.

He then asked his classmates if they actually wanted to ban dihydrogen monoxide, and so 43 out of the 50 present voted to ban this clearly toxic chemical.

However, this chemical isn’t typically considered toxic at all. In fact, dihydrogen monoxide is simply the name for water in Chemistry.

Nathan Zohner’s experiment wasn’t a legitimate attempt to ban water, but instead an experiment to get a representation of how gullible people can really be. Also, all of the points that Zohner used to convey his point were hundred percent factually correct; he just skewed all of the information in his favor by omitting certain facts.

In recognition of his experiment, journalist James K. Glassman coined the term ‘Zohnerism’ to refer to ‘the use of a true fact to lead a scientifically and mathematically ignorant public to a false conclusion’.

In real life similar situations keep occuring a lot more often than you may think, especially when politicians, conspiracy theorists et al use proven facts to persuade people into believing false claims for vested interests.

The fact that people can mislead and be misled so easily is highly unsettling, but we do keep taking part in similar situations, with enthusiasm at times.

This is precisely why we need to avoid watching too much of breaking news & panel discussions on TV news channels and social media postings including motivational ones. The notorious concept of  ‘Zohnerism’ is all about twisting of simple facts to confuse and mislead people.

Ch Navakanta Mishra

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

European Gypsies and India, the ancient link

The European Gypsies, the Romani people, are Indian Aryan ethnic group of North India like other North Indians who moved out of India at around 11th century. The word “Romani” or “roma” is of Indian/Sanskrit origin.

Roma (रोम) is a name mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharata and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. The Mahabharata (mentioning Roma) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 slokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Roma is the name of an ancient kingdom mentioned in the 12th century Lokapannati, “description of the world”, a Pali text from Burma. The Lokapannati’s rendition of the story begins as a tale of two kingdoms, that of Pataliputta (Sanskrit: Pataliputra ) and the distant land of “Roma”.

Roma, according to the story, was filled with makers of automata, what the text calls literally “machines that were the vehicles of spirits,” bhutavahanayanta, or mechanical beings animated by a kind of life force. In Roma, these machines carried out many functions, like commerce (buying and selling), agriculture, and protection. The secrets of this technology were fiercely guarded, and the machine-makers (yantakaras) of Roma were expected to report periodically to the royal court. If there was any prolonged absence, an automaton was sent to hunt down and kill the errant artisan, preventing the knowledge from spreading to other realms.

The people of India don’t know much about gypsies nor many gypsies know much about modern day India. But there is a link going back more than a couple of thousand years.

Ch Navakanta Mishra

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment