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One morning in 2014, Ramrao Panchleniwar, an ordinary cotton grower in Maharashtra's infamous Vid... Read More

Product Description

One morning in 2014, Ramrao Panchleniwar, an ordinary cotton grower in Maharashtra's infamous Vidarbha region, consumed two bottles of pesticide in a bid to commit suicide. But he miraculously survived.

In Ramrao, rural journalist Jaideep Hardikar attempts to put a face to India's unending farm crisis with his story. He takes the reader on a journey of the everyday life of an Indian farmer, his daily struggles, his desperation to come out of his situation, his inability and many failings, the quagmire of issues he faces, and how he comes to a pass where he chooses to put an end to it all.

The result of years of committed reportage, this is an evocative read that rescues an ordinary life from obscurity and turns it into an essential biography for our times.

'Jaideep Hardikar follows in P. Sainath's footsteps. Ramrao is a hat-tip to Sainath's work for its sheer honesty and emotional fervour ... Like John Steinbeck's disturbingly truthful portrait of Depression-era America in his 1939 classic work of fiction, The Grapes of Wrath, Hardikar's non-fiction unravels stories of peasant misery. Ramrao is Tom Joad, the forlorn, jobless and vulnerable man who became the poster face of the great financial crisis of his times.' - Jinoy Jose P., The Hindu

'...Much of it has to do with Jaideep's reporting experience, his clean, easy prose. He breaks down numbers, he writes accessibly about crops and climate change. He excels when he writes about people. Hardikar the researcher has a fine eye for detail; the reporter has a finer heart, filled with empathy. The result is a luminous book. Elegantly, and with little fuss, it tells you the story of farming through the life of a farmer. Few have cared to mainstream the problems of Indians who live outside cities. P. Sainath did in Everybody Loves a Good Drought. Jaideep too is among that rare breed journalists.' - Aparna Karthikeyan, Hindustan Times

'That Jaideep has access to this farmer's heart is a lesson for other field writers on how to drop the distance, how to be objective yet see the other as our own. This collaboration is what uplifts the book.' - Manu Moudgil, The Tribune

'Ramrao is a must-read book to understand the state of Indian agriculture today.' - M. Rajshekhar, author of Despite the State

'Jaideep Hardikar has lived Ramrao's life for some time to write this searing biography of a farmer in Vidarbha. Through the protagonist, the book, in a sense, projects the everyday tribulations of the agrarian community in India, for whom death, not life, has become the favoured option. It is a resounding answer to a question that we often casually ask: why do farmers commit suicide? Ramrao is a throbbing cry from the ground, the anti-heroic story of an ordinary man who almost succumbs to near-fatal despair but survives to tell the tale.' - Meena Menon, independent journalist and author

'Jaideep masterfully narrates a story about the life of the Indian farmer over the past few years, intricately weaving in the string of policy failures on an unprecedented scale that have brought things to such a pass. Even while painting its bleakest moments, the book captures the prevailing rustic humour and spirit in equal measure. It does not pre-judge but allows the readers to figure out for themselves who is responsible for the trajectory of tragedies: the politicians, the bureaucracy or the people themselves for the choices they make at the elections.' - Ajay Vir Jakhar, Chairman, Bharat Krishak Samaj

'Jaideep could have easily penned the extraordinary life of the rich and famous. Instead, he chose the plebian tale of an Indian farmer and, through him, the story of India's rural half. Ramrao survives and continues in the chilling commonness, like countless others, of debt and drudgery. Jaideep's book is a quietly searing of our billionaire-obsessed nation and tells us that the problem is not with the farmer or farming but with the exploitative system that refuses to allow farmer-friendly policies. It is an important work that must be read by those who want to understand the ABC of agriculture as well as by policy planners.' - Vijay Jawandhia, farmers' leader and co-founder of the Shetkari Sanghatna

'Jaideep Hardikar tells the agonising story of what keeps farmers perpetually indebted. Through the life of a small farmer, he explores the depth and extent of the misery that farmers are faced with-their everyday struggles, untiring efforts, the restless nights and how they hope against hope that tomorrow may turn out to be a better day. Gripping and engrossing, the book takes you deep into India's agrarian distress.' - Devinder Sharma, food, policy and agriculture analyst and commentator

Product Details

Title: Ramrao
SKU: BK0453103
EAN: 9789354223013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback

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