Bored of American Movies, I switched to some classic International movies last week and did quite a bit of search for them. But this review is about a regional movie called “Jhing Chik Jhing” released in 2009.
As urbanites we are so disconnected with rural lives where farmers toil in the bountiful farms and produce what is exported and consumed all over the world. It is unfortunate what so many farmers in Vidharbha (in particular) and all over India have given up and committed suicide. The figure can be checked on wikipedia, but the numbers are mind-boggling. It is unfathomable to imagine why these farmers who produce crops and can feed themselves give up and commit suicide.
The movie has done a great job in educating the viewers on how the vicious cycle of debt which the farmers get trapped in, and then eventually the only way out of the situation is to avail of the 1 lac rupees the government offers to the widow and family of the dead farmer. This is clearly a system where the rehabilitation is itself a form of incentive to commit suicide.
What I didn’t like about the movie though was it advocates “organic farming” as a way out to become self sufficient. The multinationals ofcourse have their seeds and manure to sell. But is “Organic farming” enough to save money and become self-sufficient? I remain a skeptic.
What the movie could have done?
I feel the movie has avoided the difficult task of educating and giving farmers a postive mind-set, I might reek of intellectual elitism. But what I am talking about is raising the consciousness of these farmers. I have met some very wise farmers, who are more world worthy than us urbanites living a bubble existence.
Ok here are some useful links
Wikipedia Article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farmers’_suicides_in_India
Documentary on Farmers suicide featuring the Hindu Journalist P Sainath: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q6m5NgrCJs