Over the last 15 years more than 2 lakh farmers have committed suicide in the country due to debt related problem and an acute agrarian crisis. This phenomenon was outside the lived experience of the people of West Bengal and came only as news from distant places. But with the Trinamool Congress led government coming to power in West Bengal, a significant change has happened in West Bengal countryside, where the phenomenon of farmer suicides have now become a part of rural life in the state.
A few IT employees visit villages affected by farmer suicides, among those who are engaged in the traditional occupation of sericulture. They report on the deprivation and its costs in lives.
"Peepli Live can be accused of the same crime that it accuses the media of – just scratching the surface of all issues it could in an hour and a half without really trying to push the envelope of discourse on any front, neither the role of media, nor agrarian crisis or indeed the crisis of Indian politics itself", says Tejal Kanitkar in a review of the movie in this post.
Once in a while a film is made which does not try to sell you a dream but rather shows you the inner contradictions of the society that we live in. (This review contains spoilers)
"By creating an exclusively profit oriented banking sector through deregulation and drastically cutting the expenditure on agriculture government is crushing the farmer from all sides. Even the occasional relief of debt waiver and suspension announced by government workers against farmers as banks show reluctance in further lending to farmers who have received relief." An article on the murderous compromise in rural credit and agriculture by Srujana Bodapati.
Shattered by a complete failure of crop this year, and looming debt, the three-acre farmer in Yavatmal, Mahrashtra, followed what tens of other farmers have done in Vidarbha in the past Jaideep Hardikar writes about the continuing farmer suicides in Vidarbha.