The battle line is drawn. The triangular contest between three prominent parties has taken center stage. Amid the high pitched propaganda where all parties are making umpteen promises, a stark reality is overshadowed.
Scores of families in the state have been ruined as the sole bread earner just could cope up with the burden of living under debt and decided to end life. The facts throw light on the gruesome picture. Reportedly 7000 farm laborers in Punjab committed suicide during the first decade of this century. An equal number of farm laborers have killed themselves during the last six years. The problem of crippling debt taking innocent is on the rise. And so are the cases of shattered families in Punjab.
Punjab, the poster child of Green Revolution, is on the brink of disaster. Close to 80 percent of the suicides in the state are because the small farmer, owning less than 5 acres of land, is not able to come out of the debt trap.
It is undoubtedly an economic issue that requires political issue. The UPA government took some baby steps by waiving off certain loans. The scheme benefited merely 2 percent of the farmers. And that is where the story ends so far as political help is concerned.
The next incumbent can possibly tackle the problem in more than one way; farm subsidy, reduction in diesel price and other inputs and increasing procurement price are possible solutions. Farming, once the pride of Punjab, must be restored back to its original status. Hopefully, the winning party will take substantial steps to rectify the issue.