he locust swarms flying into India have already wreaked havoc on agriculture in many northern and western states. First affected was Rajasthan followed by Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. It is said that these swarms can be as large as 80 million per square kilometer. The invasion of locusts in India is presumed to be by the desert variety of these pests coming in from North Africa and West Asia. Scientists have said that more incidences of cyclones in the Indian Ocean may have triggered the migration of these swarms. They are known destroy standing crops and vegetation. Therefore, it can be said that this new cycle of attack on the Indian sub-continent will greatly cripple the already beleaguered Indian farmer.
The ongoing saga of novel coronavirus has immensely affected agricultural activities across the sub-continent. Apart from industrial workers, migration or return home of a large number of agricultural workers from states like Punjab, Haryana, Kerala, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh have put the farmer in a fix. The impact of the lockdown came at a time when the Rabi crops were ready to be harvested. Without backup of labour, the already harassed farmer faces a lot of hardships even today when harvesting and ancillary preparatory work should be in process.
Amphan, the cyclone that chose this particular time to strike the East coast of India, has succeeded in making the farmers of North Orissa, West Bengal and some parts of Bangladesh kneel down. While political or man-made boundaries of districts, states or countries do not affect Nature’s acts, it is sad to observe the manner in which this sub-continent is being battered so very frequently. Lest we omit another disaster, a 5.5 Richter scale earthquake hit Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram hit Monday 25 May. In other words, no calamity worth its salt is willing to spare the Indian sub-continent. Although the earthquake did not cause major damage, yet it reminded all of us about the all powerful Nature.
Although the novel coronavirus or Covid19 is not a product of Nature’s wrath, it has gained global notoriety because of its capabilities to reach anywhere and everywhere and as reportedly claimed, it has affected mostly men, both aged and young. Maybe the studio that designed Covid19 intended the male population of the areas that were to be affected to be wiped out or incapacitated. Now the most worrisome aspect facing India is the recall of all its citizens from this country by China. This may be an early warning of malicious Chinese intentions towards India in the backdrop of growing border tensions. With the inept handling of relations with Nepal and Bangladesh, India has pushed both these countries and forced them to get closer to China. While Indian ministers are bravely shooting off statements claiming Western production centres may move out of China and come to India, the Red Dragon seems to be taking no chances for such an eventuality. Interestingly, we Indians always leap before we look. We are probably the only country which publicizes receipt of every single dollar of foreign investment and also a nation where a retired man holding the post of Chief of Defence Services (CDS) tweets every military decision prior to or after implementation.
The Locusts, Covid19, Migrant problem compounded by economic crisis, Amphan, earthquake, diplomatic failures and finally the browbeating by China have jeopardized the lives of all us Indians. Even if we give out a distress call now, there will be very few who could or would respond.