Damn the American media: More than a quarter of a million farmers in India have committed suicide in the last 16 years, buy we’re willing to bet you never heard a thing about it.
SOURCE: Progressive Labor Party
A RECENTLY RELEASED REPORT from the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (Every Thirty Minutes, 2011) revealed that farmers in India are committing suicide at a rate of one every thirty minutes. During the past sixteen years, more than a quarter of a million farmers in India have committed suicide: a tragedy due to the ever-growing cycle of debt that U.S. agro-companies like Monsanto force on Indian farmers.
The IMF and World Bank, institutions controlled by U.S. and European imperialists, have forced market liberalization on India which means the elimination of government subsidies and government-backed loans to farmers. The introduction of U.S. agribusiness, particularly Monsanto, into the region has strong-armed many farmers to being dependent on seeds and fertilizers that are far more expensive than local varieties.
This economic imperialism has thrown agriculture in India into crushing poverty with most farmers making only $250 for an entire year of labor. Many of those who have committed suicide have done so by consuming the very pesticides that put them into so much debt. These victims of capitalism have left heart-wrenching suicide notes addressed to the Indian Prime Minister begging for assistance.
History of Imperialism
But as all capitalists are loyal only to profits, the Indian government has continued to pursue these murderous reforms. This story mirrors the history of Western imperialism in India that is soaked in the blood of the working class.
When British imperialists first visited India in the 18th century they commented on the country’s immense wealth. In 1757 one Briton described Dacca in Bengal as being as “extensive, populous, and rich as the city of London.” Another observer described the region as “a wonderful land, whose richness and abundance neither war, pestilence, nor oppression could destroy.” A 1918 report of the British Royal Industrial Commission remarked that “the industries of India were far more advanced than those of the West up to the advent of the industrial revolution.”
With Britain’s official declaration of dominance over India in 1793, all that changed. Indian industry was systematically destroyed, much of it carted off back to Britain. By 1840 the population of Dacca had fallen from 150,000 to 30,000. Writing in 1835 a British official wrote of India, “The misery hardly finds a parallel in the history of commerce. The bones of the cotton-weavers are bleaching the plains of India.” In the final years of British imperial control conditions worsened. Between 1881 and 1939 life expectancy dropped in India from 30 years to a mere 23 years.
This history of imperialist murder has called out for workers there to join the communist movement and indeed many great communist leaders such as Rajani Palme Dutt came from India.
Workers in India have a great legacy of fighting imperialism, but if they ever hope to smash the imperialist menace that has haunted them for more than 200 years they need to link arms with the international revolutionary communist party, PLP. Only workers uniting together under the banner of communism can smash capitalism and its racist murderous imperial system once and for all.
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