Though many now know it was the drying up of the Saraswati River that caused its decline-they miss what is even more interesting- that Harrapans’ major markets had collapsed following a similar drought, Near East and world trade nose-dived and this sudden reverse in the economic front started the decline.
Not just the Harrapan trade seals and clay inscriptions are scattered around the Near East and overseas but the imported products from those markets as well abundantly found not just at Harrapa but all over India-So it wasn’t exactly ancient world’s sweat shop exporter but a world trading hub-This also shows ancient India was simply what is broadly speaking America today.
The Chola-Pandyas’ pre-Islamic empires were built on the edifice of Global Trade and Post Islamic revivalist Vijayanagara and Maratha empires too.Global trade was the secret of ancient Hindu’s prosperity.Free Trade agreements were the engines of its Post Islamic resurgence. Not ‘swadeshi‘ which is plain old Protectionism along anti global trade.
With such economic advisors the Harrapans wouldn’t have needed the drying up of the Saraswati to perish.
FDI as East India Company- Indian companies became MNCs
Even Bastiate doesn’t equate free trade with absent Regulator of truly fair and free trading. The Indian polity then favored and went beyond the Fair and Free trade principles conceding political advantages to the East Indian Companies.
That is not to be made into xenophobic ant globalist protectionism’s excuse abolishing all investments and opening of domestic markets for ever.The term MNCs at the start of Liberalization meant Multinational companies mainly capitalist west- so the doomsayers’ invoking of calamity and grisly image in this return of the British East India Company was easier. But the reciprocal access to overseas markets had turned most Indian companies focused in India to swiftly become Multinational Companies in their own right-like the myriad Tatas and Reliance Indst.
The British enslavement of India under the aegis of East Indian Company and the mercantile colonialism cannot deny the above historical facts that India in her own right was on the way to have become such a global mercantile colonialist super power- and her colonies have left us the splendid monuments to attest her capacity at the Angor Wat. The western outposts extending to Anatolia are yet to be made out.
One can safely argue that the decline of India began with this in-turned and self focused Trade isolationism, and departure from world markets.
Liberalization of our markets and globalization would lead to neo colonialist take over was the first myth that got exploded. What happened in reality was- Indian companies like so many frogs in the well jumped out and became Multinational giants.
Internalization of Leftist anti-neo colonialism and anti imperialism
Koenraad Elst had indicated the internalization of the Leftist rhetoric by the Hindu nationalist movement. He could have mentioned a booklet written by Dattopadhya Thengedi (Defeated Marxism) where he pitches the then Bharathiya Jan sangh’s economic line along Manu smriti- where the Law giver forbids the state interference in the operation of Free market dynamics.
Leftists have infiltrated the Nationalist ranks and BJP too takes populist stands rooted in outdated Socialism and Protectionism. Not to forget that it was BJP that opened FDI of all things in media ! Which predictably became anti-Hindu and one cause of all our problems and its own defeats. FDI increase to 78% in Broadcast will bring in evangelist radios/TV.
It is this alone BJP must oppose. Otherwise Retail chains will actually help farm uptake and drive Agro growth rate still in old Hindu growth rate.
We can’t hold millions and millions of nearly 30% of India’s agro dependent population to ransom for imagined effects on a few hundred thousand or a million retailers.
We believe in bi-partisan politics and welcome the FDI reforms even if it’s done by the anti-Hindu congress, because that will benefit our Nation. BJP must abandon its coddling with Leftists and anachronisms. People have already endorsed Manmohan’s stand on Nuclear Deal and sidelined communists.
We must welcome PM Manmohan Singh’s last minute effort to put India back on the Neo-Hindu Growth rate of 7+ %. For us what help the Hindu nation alone are important-not partisan politics and Populist approvals. We should stand for kautilya’s Artha Shastra and not karl Marx’s Anti-imperialism rants. Imagine if leftists had blocked FDI in telecom? We would never have come out of 6 month waits for landlines! Remember leftist Protests and bandhs against Computers and computerization? The proposed NDA bandh is an update on that comic.
Entombing the farmer all for his own good and protecting him in slow decay
The Re- Lettering the Illiterates on need for Obsolete Protectionism and Leftist Price Controls Status Quo is lead by our patriot friend S Gurumurthy. Our Shukracharya of Leftist Economic Dharma is so upset at Wall Mart arrival that he had gifted us with a very ‘stunning’ revelation. Being also the Bheeshma of Protectionism and its canons he tells us gravely that-The days are numbered for Farmers and Food Security and end of days are near.
So we would like to critique his take since I too happen to be a Nationalist but believe Free Markets seldom bring Doom but its tampering with controls and tampering.
Planning Commission and its planned imprisonment of agricultural industry now is the new Shastra he rallies to begin his charge against the Forces of Imperialism and Capitalism that Wall Mart seems to appear to his nationalist vision. So let us read from his Selling India’s retail wholesale and try to understand him.
First it declares the support to Retail sector opening up to Market economy against its controlled planned Stalinist era stagnation is ‘Illiteracy”. Since we expect to perceive soundness of its “literate’ version of the event-It starts quoting from the Holy Bible – Planning Commission Report of 5 Year plans!
That’s your Literacy or update from Soviet era economic modelled planned economy that was huge flop. Re-education that is. This is the Sunday School of Protectionism and Leftism- Still, we can gaze if any insights are there to its Literate story- here it is
“The US farm size is 250 times larger than the Indian; the Australian farms, 4000 times! Therefore, Farm Gate to Wal-Mart supply chain that works in the US/West cannot be imagined here”.
Lest we start ‘imagining’ the corporate strategists who would be bringing in sparse capital in a global downturn into India to work their way around this seemingly ‘unimaginable’ block-
It says –
The Farm Gate to Wal-Mart theory is founded on the elimination of not only middlemen but also small farmers by making farming contractual and corporate to reap economics of scale. It ignores global studies and Indian experience that affirm that economics of scale does not operate in agriculture. Actually smaller farms give better production. The SMFs in India farm about 34% of the cultivated area, but produce 41% of food grains; their productivity is 33% higher. Replace small farms by large ones. Nation’s food production will instantly fall by 7%.
Economics of scale through Contractual Farming is already done by Pepsi and none of this happened. Each line is a presumption and full of contradiction let’s stay with him till he is finished– It’s founded “On the elimination of not only middlemen but also small farmers”
The contracts are with multiple small holders and if that’s a very big hurdle- they can always go for co-operative farming contracts? How will then Productivity of these very same Farmlands fall?
The SMFs in India farm about 34% of the cultivated area, but produce 41% of food grains; their productivity is 33% higher. Frankly we don’t get that math at all. 34% of area under small holdings and them accounting for 41% produces means just 7% of produces more?
And this data ignores what exactly that 7% more produce are? If they happen to grow more-
1. Crops that fetch less price at markets?
2. If they grow more of same due to lack of implements and agro-equipment?
3. Lastly the elimination of middle men- who would also pay barely production plus cost and pocket the margins due to their holding of the supply chain and shelf accessibility?
None of this answered.So it then grandly jumps to its next alarmist conclusion-
Nation’s food production will instantly fall by 7%.
Like Commies who prophesied advent of Computers will make Industrial workers redundant and create a labor market crisis and Unemployment doomsday?
What in fact happened in reality?
Very same Communist governments started belatedly inviting Information technology industry to setup shops at Calcutta? Instead of the prophesy of labor doomsday the reform there ended in creation of a new Industry! Now when you look at this long pending opening of Protected and stunted Agro Industry from Stalinist Control regime-Is it hard to imagine what is coming?
The small farmers always have the example of Pepsi contract farming as Co-operatives.In fact the productivity figures of meaningless and less paying produce will get replaced with higher fetching prices for what they produce. With more entry of big retailers the farmers will have more buyers biding for their produce? The eliminated middle men and wastage that this ‘Literate doomsters’ thunder- Will alone better price discovery and increase the Produce surviving without perishing as wastage due to poor Supply support logistics such as warehouses and Cold chains.
This is one thing not mentioned at all- that the “high Productivity’ gets undone by Storage and Transportation that destroys them due to Wastage of produce-Especially for the perishable crops that need technological preservation such as cold storage.
The upgrade of entire agro-industry moving into agro-Products instead farm produce is also missed. For instance Potato chips and Tomato sauces instead of plain tomatoes’ and Potatoes and happening right there where this small farmer lives and vegetates, thanks to our literate pundits and their regime of protections. Instead of seeing this as a pathetic state it tells us-
A less known, stunning truth about rural India is that more than 60% of India’s food production does not enter commercial stream at all, but gets distributed, consumed within the villages. It is retained or stored by farmers for consumption, payment of wages in kind to farm labour; and for use as seed and feedstock for animals; for sale within the village.
Because there is no way to get it to the distant markets or preserve them on transit?Wouldn’t More money in his pocket will fetch that –and not lack of options and consumption at source of production.
“Even if a small part of the 60% un-marketed food production is drawn into the market through supply chain which Wal-Mart’s will establish, that will mean urban pricing in rural areas. Can SMFs and landless labour afford the market price and buy their food? Never”.
That is assuming the farmer would stay the same way at same level of income and lack of options.
When he gets a better price via co-operative contract farming and a sellers’ market where multiple chains bid for his produce and more money in his pocket and there is then no need at all this compulsion you hail to self- consume his stock of produce?
Where is this grand deduction- Never?
Dharma? or Adharma of Populist Economic fallacies?
The rest of the doomsday forecast is so benumbing, specious that it isn’t worth quoting.It adds some romance of how farmers reach two major points of of take –stressing these transaction points are “ the farmers not just trade, but also exchange social and cultural information about neighbourhood areas, settle marriages and disputes, make crop choice and discuss resource allocation.”Must be a sad reading indeed- for a communist that is.
So much proletarian culture lost and the last gem– “Resource Allocation discussion’ Meets and bonhomie missed!Note it’s not capital allocation but Resource allocation– Farmers are comrades of Planned Economists. Funny?
What it argues is that the Local Mandi-Haats are the first stage of Exchange of what the Farmer grows that he sells to the middle man trader.This is the Status Quo- and the Rip off of this Farmer left without market access or choice or even electronic commodities Options.No Options save the Government man and the Middle man- that’s our socialist culture that needs to be guarded against the invader Western Wal-mart.All kinds of calamities await us we are told and all not because he is blocked by Literate Punditry that banished electronic access even to global market prices, but because -He is still unaware of Administered Floor price guaranteed to off take by government!A farmer who needs to be kept update on State mechanism- but strangely not World market situations electronically.
So it tells us Planning commission has advised the government to go there to Haats instead of the next level of off take that is the Whole Sale Mandis.This is because it says only 5% of all they grow is reaches there.And it’s at such whole sale paradises that farmers actually get the Government doled out the deliverance of his poor soul through good news of Minimum Control Price.
In other words it tells us –if only the poor sod Farmer who offloads the produce at Whole Sale points of pickup of his produce- where he will obtain a fabulous Govt Minimum Price, and then he can walk whistling to the bank a richer man.Since that is impossible and so demanding-the Planning Commission of Stalinist thinkers have wisely advised the Government instead to walk the extra mile and save the poor souls informing them of the Administered prices and give him salvation.
All that is so nice to visualize- provided the Price the Govt gives under control regime as minimum price exceeds what he will get from Wall markets or even at the Mandis he sells now.If you ask the farmer he will tell you what a cruel joke this Minimum prices doled by government gives-Barely or at times even less than cost of production.
This is why he ignores and stays content with what he sells now at level one- at Haats and returns home. The wonderful Stalinist era device of Minimum support price would hardly cover his transport to Whole sale points and would hardly be worth the ride. Not that he is such an ignoramus and illiterate but wiser than this Literate and literalist reader of the situation.
The writer also celebrates the demise and shut down of Commodities exchange and trading- because such poor souls couldn’t even grasp this Govt Minimum price so how can they grasp nuances of Commodities Exchange? Patronizing and smothering can’t be bettered here when Gurumurthy pens this.
So that was favour done by UPA which back tracked under this shouters’ show against Commodities trading- and robbed him of learning the current prices at his own villages and sell going by world futures market.
Since they had successfully kept him in his place, at the double mercies of a Government administered Price mechanism that hardly covers cost of production and would at times even give him less than what he would get at nearby local Haats-And robbed him also the freely available Internet based Hindi readings of commodities markets and price accordingly-Throwing him at the mercy of middle men traders at Haats where he should be happy conducting his culture and commerce….
The doomsday prophet of Planned economic thinking is confident that his own self proclamation of Literacy will go unnoticed, unchallenged and be hailed instead as scientific force of Productive truths! He needs to be the Messiahs of our farmers, by our well meaning middle class who are sedate and love such myth making as a crusade worth this season.
Anna Team and Ram Baba shows are getting boring isn’t it?
Markets if allowed to function freely always have shown as bettering everyone-the producer and the trader and the consumer. Better that segment of economy and overall growth and prosperity. What never worked and will never work are –The Controls system and its Planning of Economic activity; by some arbitrary dictator of terms of exchange with well meaning but unhelpful intervention.
This essay forgot to explain why at America and West Farm sizes are Bigger and average productivity as well as industrialization of agriculture and Market access –price discovery are incomparably better.That abysmal stagnation is thanks to your decades of Planning and meddling and saving the Farmer from all such transformations as the world moved on.
While the farmer of the west moved ahead –ours remained- locked in prison of a paternal sing system of controls and doles and remained like a Bonsai Tree version of them. That was the Literate Protectionist church and Leftist little saints of Stalinist Planning and Controls’ miracle working.Anti Americanism is not in the best interest of the Hindu Nation.
This appendix I did after a quick check if such ‘Big fish eateth small fish‘ is just scare mongering or something else actually happening.
I was aghast that this eminent Chartered Accountant and trusted patriot who must be in the knowing of what Pepsi that accursed western Imperialist Capitalist Big Fish has already been doing to our Small Fishes- and yet has chosen to portray to us as Doomsday that very same story with Walmart’s arrival ! In this he seems very committed and opaque to any reason or previous mistakes. For instance the opposition to arrival of Cokes and Pepsis was in fact his first program.As though the Bad Ugly american corporates will bring doom- really?
Just read how Illiterate he has assumed we are- perhaps since we don’t check his tall claims at all. Did the small Farmer perish with Contractual Farming or Productivity nose dive and he ended shirtless?
Read for yourselves what it says about the Literate Panic seller- Buoyant Pepsi to take contract farming to troubled states Seema Sindhu / New Delhi June 11, 2010, 0:03 IST Ram Prasad Ghosal, a potato farmer from Bamunpara (Dist Burdwan) in West Bengal, owns 10 acres of land. Just two months earlier, though, his ilk faced a major scare. The region witnessed a bumper potato crop of 9.5 million tonnes — 73 per cent higher than last year’s production.
Wholesale prices in Kolkata crashed to Rs 300 a quintal. Retail prices, too, dropped to Rs 6-8 a kg. Farmers were forced to sell their produce at Rs 3-3.50 a kg, almost half of last year’s price.Ghosal, however, was not worried. Not only were his fortunes hedged, but he also managed to get almost Rs 3 more per kg. He was one of the 6,500 potato farmers across six districts in West Bengal who got assured returns of Rs 6-8 a kg even as prices crashed around them.
All had one thing in common — they were doing contract farming for food and beverages company, PepsiCo. Hardly a year after working with Pepsi, Ghosal bought a tractor and potato harvester.
“It has been a wonderful experience with PepsiCo. Assured fixed rates and expert technical help has totally changed my life. I associated with PepsiCo four years earlier and my profit has risen by Rs 20,000-25,000/acre per annum,” says Ghosal. The company also helped him getting cheaper loans and last year, he also bought weather insurance.
So our Learned pundit is striving and promoting ideas to keep these Farmers from emancipation from the twin blight of middlemen and crashing prices with his trumpeted more 43% productivity and the Government that would offer him the Minimum what?
No wonder they are driven to suicide.
Dharma? or Adharma of Populist Economic fallacies?