By Biju Negi
Garhwal Post, August 10, 2007
DEHRADUN, 9 August: On the 65th anniversary of August Kranti Day, the Uttarakhand Pradesh Sarvodaya Mandal addressed a press conference and organised a symbolic padyatra from the Press Club to the Gandhi Park, here, today.
On this very day, in 1942, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, the countrymen started the Quit India Movement in a spirit of â€˜â€™Do or Dieâ€™â€™. This proved to be the last and decisive major struggle to oust the British and exactly five years and a week later, the country unfurled its tricolour. Today, while paying homage to the spirit of the Quit India Movement, the Sarvodaya Mandal regretted that though India may be politically independent but ideologically and economically it is getting more and more enslaved. The countryâ€™s policies and plans do not reflect any sense of self-reliance in nation building.
A clear example of this is the state of the villages in the country. Gandhi and Vinoba believed the countryâ€™s well being depended on the well being of its villages. But today, in the nationâ€™s conscience, the village seems to have no place. The planners are now more euphoric over an â€˜India shiningâ€™, which at best is restricted to a handful of metropolitan cities, while the countryside sinks deeper into the mire of darkness. Traditional agriculture and its infrastructures have been destroyed, while the â€˜newâ€™ agriculture is alien, unprofitable and gone out of the hand of the small farmers who comprise as much as 70% of the countryâ€™s population. Excessive use of chemical fertilisers, excessive extraction and pollution of water have laid the land waste, forced an unending migration to the cities, and the lands in the grip of the mafia.
Or why else should it happen, that in the last five years, over one lakh farmers have committed suicide, and yet peopleâ€™s souls have not stirred! [more]