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Debt and Death in Rural India: The Punjab Story [Hardcover]

Aman Sidhu , Inderjit Singh Jaijee
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

October 4, 2011 8132106539 978-8132106531
Debt and Death in Rural India is a study of farmer suicides in rural Punjab from the mid-1980s up to 2008. Based on comprehensive original research work, it examines various factors ranging from central to state policies and critically analyses political, economic and social trends that led to the dismal condition of the farmers between 1988 and 2008.

This study presents a unique trajectory on the issue of farmer suicides and contextualises the problem within a historical and geographical framework. It includes interviews of family members of a number of farmers who committed suicide in the subdivision of Sangrur district of Punjab, India, which constitutes the area of the study.

This outstanding work analyses the interplay of economic and political forces and recommends concrete policy measures to enable Punjab to break out of the vicious farmer-suicide cycle.

Editorial Reviews

Review

Analysing Punjab’s historical and geographical framework, the book probes the main factors responsible for rural suicides… [It] includes details about quantification process of the suicides and the figures which made the state government and media take the case of farmers’ suicides seriously… The efforts of the writers need to be lauded in highlighting the increasing debt and penury among the farmers.  This book has broken the silence surrounding farmers death. Debt and Death in Rural India is an excellent study about the plight of peasants and brings to light the apathetic attitude of the government.

(The Tribune)

This outstanding work analyses the interplay of economic and political forces and recommends concrete policy measures to enable Punjab to break out of the vicious farmer-suicide cycle...The efforts of the writers need to be lauded in highlighting the increasing debt and penury among the farmers. This book has broken the silence surrounding farmer’s deaths. Interviews of family members of suicide victims constitute an important part of the research…[it] offers practical recommendations which can go a long way in tackling the vicious circle of debt…. The book is a chilling story and an excellent study about the plight of peasants and brings to light the apathetic attitude of the government. It exposes the yawning gulf between the haves and the have nots. (eSocialSciences)

One of the most important studies not only for the farmers of poor states but also for the government to reflect on the age-old issue of farmer suicides, rural indebtedness and agricultural backwardness. A landmark study in this subject and serve as an eye-opener for planners and policy makers of the country. It will also be very useful for further research on the issue.

(Journal of Social and Economic Development, Vol 15, January-June 2013)

About the Author

Aman Sidhu lost her life in a tragic road accident in 2006. This book is based on her PhD research, focusing on rural suicides in Punjab. Aman Sidhu was 34 years of age when this research began. She had recently returned from the United Kingdom having obtained an MBA degree, prior to which she had completed her Master’s in Sociology from Panjab University. Aman’s interest in rural suicides developed while working with the Movement Against State Repression (MASR), an NGO, for which she was conducting research in the Lehra and Andana Blocks of Moonak subdivision in Punjab’s Sangrur district.

She decided to take this work forward, by enrolling for a PhD based on her field-work. Aman was also instrumental in starting the JSJ Degree College at Gurney Kalan, in addition to various vocational centres for village girls.

As her PhD research had led to the compilation of a significant amount of statistical data and interviews, her father, Mr Inderjit Singh Jaijee, decided to take the work forward as a memorial to her.



Inderjit Singh Jaijee has been a long serving advocate of people’s rights and dignity in the Punjab region. In 1985 he was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly; he has served as President of the Indian Minority and Dalit Front; has worked for more than 15 years with the Movement Against State Repression (MASR); and is a founding member of the Rescue and Revival Mission of the Baba Nanak Educational Society.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8132106539
  • ISBN-13: 978-8132106531
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,626,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Hardcover
Thoroughly researched book that requires long visits to the rural lands of India and the present a contrast to the glitzy India. It is a must read for those with interests in human rights, socio economic justice, environmental issues and suicide studies.

Why the epicenter of the Farmer Suicide Discourse revolves around the Vidharbha Region, in India, the book actually highlights the reason why Punjab's suicides have remained as a background topic. This alarming epidemic needs to be addresses ASAP before the phenomenon takes a violent turn.

Here are the Chapter Listings -
1 - Introduction
2 - Punjab's Land, Rivers and Climate
3 - Cultural Profile of Moonak Subdivision
4 - Dispute of Punjab's River Waters
5 - History of Southeast Punjab
6 - The Demand for Federalism
7 - Punjab versus the Central Government Steamroller
8 - Quantification of Suicides
9 - A Problem Does Not Exist of You Don't Look at It
10 - Rehabilitation and Compenstation
11 - Survival Strategies
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