Editorial – Why is this edition of Ground Report India on water and agriculture?


For the past 20 years, more or less, I have been working, or have been associated with various known social personalities and media celebrities of social activism in India.  These personalities include international awardees, mainstream political persons, RTI/RTF/RTE/ NREGA activists, activists who follow Gandhi’s ideology, organizations who pursue Gandhi’s ideology and others in India.

Over the past decade, I have been spending most of my time each year in remote areas of many different regions of India. I have tried to spend a minimum of one to two months in a region, continuously interacting with local people to understand the ground reality and practicalities of their life. By doing this, I have had opportunities to understand many different types of people, their views, their understandings, their problems and their reactions to ongoing systems.

I feel that there are many different layers of social systems and hence worlds in India.  These worlds are not mutually related, are not mutually understood, and are not known to each other. I feel that India needs fundamental changes in various social systems, which can only be achieved with basic ground reality understandings of society as a whole and all of its segments. Social changes or transformations always take much time, and need a huge amount of effort. To change systems requires individuals to sacrifice their individual identities and egos.  No change can occur with shortcuts. To create social change can be compared to planting a tree.  The seed of the tree needs care, water, sunlight, soil, nutrients and time to grow, and then the tree starts to give fruits.

India needs to understand the holes in her electoral, political, executional, judiciary, media and constitutional systems. Any change needs to be a self-motivated movement from the masses of India, and the masses can only be motivated by live sources of motivations. Live sources of motivations cannot be generated only by the media. Even a responsible and socially accountable media cannot generate live sources of mass motivation.  The media can only support to strengthen live sources.

In India it is easy to generate various pseudo power centres by projecting virtual illusions. These power moves cannot change the systems in India to move towards social accountability, because they do not have a base in the self-motivated actions of the real masses.

There is an emerging trend in India. Changes, transformations, and revolutions all occurring in, with, and by the Internet. Even though in the virtual world it seems that many efforts are occurring to change India, in actuality things are getting increasingly worse on the ground. The Internet is being misused by Indian youth as a medium for the expressions of their reactions, but without doing sincere actions on the ground or in their daily life.

Ground Report India is here to support your efforts towards taking action on the ground, by assisting you to understand the ground realitites of India, with an unbiased understanding of India.  Ground Report India is here to act as a close associate of you, to provide non-projected information of the people who work on the ground. 

To this end, this edition focuses on water and agriculture in India.  Today in India more than  65 percent of the population are supported by agriculture, with 50 percent directly dependent on agriculture.  Most of these people are landless farmers, or have landholdings that are too small for any real productive use (less than 2 hectares). Much of the agricultural area is also rain-fed which places family farmers at high risk of poverty.  Those most affected are women and children, who tend to play a larger role in rain-fed farming systems. 

GRI is yours.  Make it as you want.

Thank you

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