Farmers’ don’t push it too far: India would find its’ wheat-paddy in other Punjabs

2nd December 2020

2nd December 2020

Image: Courtesy The Wire

He was a long-limbed farmer a God-fearing, freedom-loving, law-abiding rugged individualist who held that federal aid to anyone but farmers was creeping socialism.

His specialty was alfalfa, and he made a good thing of not growing any. The government paid him well for every bushel of alfalfa he did not grow. The more alfalfa he did not grow, the more money the government gave him, and he spent every penny he didn't earn on new land to increase the amount of alfalfa he did not produce.

He invested in land wisely and soon was not growing more alfalfa than any other man in the country. He was an outspoken champion of economy in government, provided it did not interfere with the sacred duty of government to pay farmers as much as they could get for all the alfalfa they produced that no one else wanted or for not producing any alfalfa at all.

(Consider reading this book. Joseph Heller, Catch 22, pp. 82-83)


Europe needed alum to dye wool. Entire alum came from the Middle East. The Ottoman Khalifa conquered most of the Mediterranean coast by 1450 AD, and took the biggest prize, Constantinople, in 1453 AD. All alum exporting regions became his possessions. He raised taxes on alum to extortionist levels.

Desperate, Europeans started searching for alum deposits within Europe, and in 1461 AD struck huge deposits near Rome. Entire European supplies started from those deposits. Roman Catholic religion was truly re-born now. And the Ottoman Khalifa was left sitting on his mounds of alum.

It is in the nature of a market that it does not like extortion. If somebody has a monopoly on a commodity, and gets too greedy on its pricing, very soon the market, if it is free, discovers its replacement, rendering the commodity in the control of the extortionists useless. In fact, the Pope, who was also a political head of the region that contained alum deposits at that time, also got too greedy, raised prices like the Ottoman Khalifa, and soon deposits were discovered all over Europe. Luxembourg now evolved as yet another rival but also provided banking.

More recently, Watanees from the Gulf got too greedy with oil. Crude Oil was trading at $150 a barrel. Desperate, the country with the freest markets, USA, discovered fracking. Oil crashed, and will never recover now. In fact, soon oil may be rendered totally useless. Watanees will go back to their camels.

"Farmers" in Punjab must know that others are not their beholden slaves. If they get too greedy, people will find alternative sources, not only of wheat and rice, but of the protein and calories themselves, rendering not their crops, but even their land useless. Somebody please tell these pampered sorts before it is too late.

(The Ottoman Khalifa's greed had very far reaching consequences. Land trade between India and Europe was totally cut off by these greedy goat shaggers. Desperate, Europeans set sails to India, and instead landed in Americas, claiming the two continents for Europe, and went on to grab Australia also. People do not realise that their looting ruler, the looting bureaucrat son, may be enriching them in the present, but will eventually destroy their world.)

Loot/extortion has never enriched anybody. But like loonies, people never seem to get this simple wisdom also. In fact this shows that lunacy is the norm, sane people are rare.

Learn to grow your own food. At least some part of it. It is not so difficult. Better and cheaper than maintaining a lawn or keeping a pet.


Commodities I have seen in India where monopolies vanished and were replaced in my lifetime so far - rubber, cotton, sugar, oil, salt, communications, milk, two-wheelers, banking, civil aviation, public transport road, rail-cargo, tractors, fossil fuels, sports facilities, educational institutions, medical treatment, safety matches, soaps, radios, cameras, filmstars, playback singers, cement suppliers, motor-cars.

My food will also reach my table from different sources.

Veeresh Malik was a seafarer. And a lot more besides. A decade in facial biometrics, which took him into the world of finance, gaming, preventive defence and money laundering before the subliminal mind management technology blew his brains out. His romance with the media endures since 1994, duly responded by Outlook, among others.

A survivor of two brain-strokes, triggered by a ship explosion in the 70s, Veeresh moved beyond fear decades ago.

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