Shetkari Sanghatana was a path breaking organisation of Rural India. Its convener Mr Sharad Joshi, an Indian Postal Service (IPS) cadre bureaucrat, well read and an incisive intellect, was a phenomenon of the 1980’s.
Almost a decade had passed since Indira Gandhi’s “Garibi Hatao” slogan, pursuing the Marxist/Socialist agenda with left of centre public policies. The eye catching slogan of the 1971 elections did not deliver on its propaganda of poverty eradication, despite the overwhelming popular mandate in her favor. Rural India was frustrated yet helpless with no one else to look up to. The ills of the economy were spreading drastically. 80% of the population dependent on agricultural was watching the hollowness of populist decisions and growing state interference in agricultural policy, resulting in unprofitable returns and a levy imposed on the agricultural produce, ironically by parliamentary mandate. The bureaucracy had forgotten the basic principles of economics, i.e. demand and supply, which determine the price of commodities and services. Read more »