Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Patel Movement and the triple concept of Society Academics and Economics

The Patel Movement : Hypotheses Emerging

The Patels are rallying across Gujarat seeking inclusion ... ah inclusion into the OBC (Other Backward Classes) category such that they get a proportion of government jobs reserved for them as part of the OBC pool. . This is a very interesting phenomenon that needs to be looked at with the triple lens of Society - Economy - Academia .. and here is why ....

The Patels are traditionally the Landholding class - The Patidars.. the ones with the patti  or ownership etched in stone to land.  .. The ones raising this demand are in Gujarat .. a spectacularly successful state in India  in terms of economics. The success so much touted that it is virtually worshipped and in academics debated as the Gujarat model of Development. What we must keep in mind is that it is believed that over the last decade Gujarat has achieved a 10% growth rate in Agriculture. This is how academics looks at the success of the Gujarat model of development.

Try putting these three facts together and you will see an interesting anamoly emerge with every possible permutation ...needless to say if this anomaly can be resolved then it may be a big ticket way ahead for Policy making in India in times to come.

The major landholding class in Gujarat - Gujarat achieves 10% growth rate in agriculture - they demand reservations stating they are not having good opportunities ?

The three don't add up simply..if the first two are correct - the third ought to unjustified unless the profits of agriculture were usurped by business models downstream or out of the value chain rather than the farmer.. which can be a major cause of distress.. and sustained distress.. do we have another suicide capital building up despite a 10% growth rate? This is an important topic for society -economy and academics as well as policy makers who are all three rolled into one to engage in.

if the latter two are true.. then what happened ? where did the land of the patels go ? or does it mean that the growth story of Gujarat agriculture was scripted by new generation farmers red as non-traditional progressive farmers who may not have a significant land holding but who out of sheer skill have crafted a growth story of upwards of 20% on individual farms to achieve a overall agricultural growth rate of 10% . This could be an eye opener for policy makers in agriculture and rural development. This is without doubt a great topic for society -economy and academics as well as policy makers who are all three rolled into one to engage in. This has the potential to sustain India's economic growth rate at over 7% for the next two decades.

If the former and the latter are true then what is circumspect is the figure of 10% growth rate of agriculture. In this case is the figure different and if yes then it must be so abysmally different such that people have to take to streets to demand reservations for jobs with paltry salaries or are they looking with jobs with low salaries and high perks including kickbacks at times.. In this case academia has to rise to the occasion and turn a new leaf and understanding the phenomenon. this is definitely not economics alone .. rather it goes to show that economics alone is never enough.. you have to take society into account. and academia has to point out that both are to be considered else method or no method youre irrelevant in the true scheme of things .. where the real world is .. and the matrix of academics has to choose wisely between the real world and the virtual matrix of seeming reality.

No comments: