I have mixed feelings while presenting Tor the sake of Simple Truth'. Obviously I am elated, but a bit nervous too. Excitement and doubt about the utility of the book exists. This book is a collection of my writings about problems of agriculture and plight of farmers, which appeared now and then in newspapers. I am aware that the constraints of time, space and references of newspaper writings, which obviously limit words, will also be affecting this book. That too the danger of repetition remains as all these writings were done at different timings. Instead of comprehensive setup of farmer's plight, segmentation of the theme may become a drawback of this book. In spite of taking all this into account, it has a utility and must be published in a book form, insisted my friend Amar Habib. His tremendous belief about the usefulness of the book won over my scepticism. That's why this book is in your hands. Amar Habib is the real doer, do-getter and the owner of this book. I must mention without fail that this book is a fruit of his efforts.
No one can deny the truth now that the problem of farmers is really taking serious dimensions day by day. A countrywide large-scale suicide by farmers is a visible effect of this. But who is responsible for this? Confusion-creation in this regard is in full swing these days. For sometime we can get rid of our guilt by blaming the farmers for their own plight. But this is not true. He drinks, he's lazy, he's coward, he don't understand that he should stay within his capacity; he spends uncontrolled during his daughters wedding; so he has to die. Farmers' suicides are the result of their vices. We can get rid of our responsibility by saying so. But this is not true. Not he, but we all are responsible for his death. Anti-farmer governments, governance, policies, literature, philosophy, social setup, et al are responsible factors for his suicide. This book is put forward for the sake of this simple truth. If the society bears the mentality that the food-grains grown by farmers shall be available at cheaper rates if not free, then his death is certain. What will happen to the 'consumer' if food-grain prices rise? This placid question is a noose around farmers' neck. This is like excluding farmer from the list of consumers and then burdening him with the question like what will happen to consumers? He will die of this burden. This simple truth is still not digested. To make it a bit swallow-able is, as per me, the motive behind this book.
Just few months had lapsed after emergency was lifted. First camp of Sangharsha Vahini (Battalion for Struggle) was being arranged in Amaravati. Youth from all over Maharashtra had gathered. All were spell bound by the ideology. The youth who had hosted the camp was Chandrakant Wankhade. I met him there for the first time. Fair. Very handsome and equally short tempered. Aggressive but equally dear to all friends! His behaviour in Amaravati camp was very assertive. His impressive and attractive personality was symbolic of Sangharsha Vahini's ideology. Friends always surrounded him. He used to sing Gazals very well. His voice had depth and sensitivity. But used to spew fire in his speeches. He was dear Chandubhau to all. Chandubhau used to have lot of fun in his collage days. He was well known sportsman. He had happy-go-lucky attitude; He used to roam around in a bunch of friends. He joined Youth Congress for some time. As he wasn't taken up by the environs of congress, he joined Tarun Shanti Sena. He was introduced to the thinking of Gandhi, Vinoba and Jai Prakash Narayan. He established a chord with the sufferings of mankind. He graduated. Emergency was declared by then. Many were arrested. So was Chandu. He was put in the jail for a year. S.M. Joshi, popularly known as Anna was outside. SM was very senior socialist leader. He wasn't arrested. He went from village to village and raised concern against emergency. In those days merely 8-10 people used to attend his addresses. Nobody was dared to attend his assemblies; forget accompanying him. In such conditions Chandrakant Wankhade was released from jail and was ready to accompany SM. Chandu accompanied SM during very critical phase. His experiences of that period are worth listening! Emergency was lifted. We were released from jail. We started working for Sangharsha Vahini. Chandrakant and his friends had set up a good work in Amaravati. In those days we laid emphasis on `Right to Recall' people's representatives. Amaravati used to host many large gatherings during election period.
Sangharsha Vahini did not allow members to continue beyond 30 years of age. I decided to participate in Farmers' movements. Chandu also took the same decision in Vidarbha. Chandu has a very great power of total devotion to the cause. He thinks enough before charting a course. But once decision is taken, he is ready to pay any price for the cause. He gives his life for the cause. During the beginning years of farmers' movements, he came good to Shetakari Sanghatana (Farmers' Organisation). He came like a thunderstorm. He took the torch of farmers' movement to Vidarbha and it spread like wildfire. Chandu didn't care whether for day or night. He didn't care for food or fitness. Whatever he had was dedicated to the organisation. I am not aware as how many have joined farmers' movement after understanding the ideology of the organisation; but I met so many people who followed Chandubhau and started working for the cause. Chandu stayed in Ambethan to conduct training camps for the organisation's representatives. In between a weekly publication `Gyanba' was launched with co-operation of Shetakari Sanghatana. It used to be published from Nashik. When the publication came to doldrums, Chandrakant was given the responsibility. He edited `Gyanba' for quite some time from Nashik. Chandu, who had good time with friends in single room accommodation in Amaravati, had now shifted to Metikheda. It is a small village in a Kalamb tehsil of Yavatmal district. He purchased a hillock over there and constructed a house over it. He along with Maya started staying there. Maya used to work for a social institute. That hillock had neither electricity nor water. He used to fetch water from village and carry it over the hillock. It used to be pitch-dark at nights. Lantern used to throw dim fluctuating light. Some faithful dogs present to accompany. Chandu cultivated Rose saplings. He was skilful wood-craftsman. At his place I saw crafts of many shapes carved out of tree roots. Chandubhau did goat farming while his stay there. He sustained through critical financial conditions. Amba is a village near Vasamatnagar. The first camp of Vahini was conducted in this village. Maya visited the camp. She was from Konkan. She met Chandu during the camp and later married him. Daughter of Konkan came to Vidarbha as daughter-in-law. She had a command over English. She started working sometimes in Nashik and sometimes in Yavatmal schools. She used to work for the sake of assisting Chandu.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Your email address will not be published *
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend