Write-off Green Revolution and praise ‘Panchagavya’

Amar Ujala published a feature article by Union cabinet Minister, BJP leader and environment expert Ms. Maneka Gandhi in its Sunday Magazine yesterday.

The article was about “Panchgavya” — which the author claims is a potent formula for crops.

The article states the panchagavya benefits, panchagavya preparation method, panchagavya ingredients and; how to use them on crops. Along with, it also informs the reader why Green revolution or “Harit Kranti” of 1960s was an unsuccessful experiment.

To summarize, the article writes off Green Revolution in India, so that it can praise ‘Panchagavya’. The reason I find the article problematic.

If you, just like many others, see Norman Borlaug’s green revolution in India a great success, then Ms. Maneka Gandhi’s article will disappoint you too, because she sees it as an epic failure.

But before going any further, have a look at the recipe of Panchagavya,

“Panchagavya ka Nuskha” or “How to make Panchagavya”

Mix 5 kgs of Cow dung, 3 litres of cow urine, 2 litres of cow milk, 2 litres of curd made from cow milk, half kg of cow ghee(clarified butter), 3 litres of sugarcane juice, 3 litres of coconut water, 12 ripe bananas, 2 litres of palm or grape juice and 20 litres of water in a non-metallic vessel. There are many steps involved in making and spraying it on the crops.

Disappointments apart, If you want to know more about Panchagavya then look for some authoritative manual. I shared the recipe to get a response from you. Does it puzzle you?Do you find it extremely unpleasant to see eatables in the Panchagavya recipe?

As said, the Union cabinet minister sees the Norman Borlaug led Green Revolution in India starting 1960s an epic failure.

According to her, when seen from today’s prism, the Green revolution which aimed at doubling the agricultural produce in India through the adoption of modern methods and technology such as high yielding variety (HYV) seeds, tractors, pump sets, etc., it was an experiment gone wrong.

According to her, Panchagavya which as a potent formula came to light in 1998 is the solution and that is why it must be adopted.

It can be adopted. But the question is why?

In her article, she touched almost everything about this potent recipe for crops — right from tastier, healthier crop produce to the necessity of it- except for one aspect. Did Panchagavya help increase crop produce (double it, triple it, quadruple it)?

The answer is NO.

So how can she term the Green revolution a failed experiment or a failure?

Green revolution in India enabled the country increase its food production. Over time it helped the country become self reliant in food availability. India transformed from a food importing country to an exporting one.

It is only because of this food security, India managed to feed its growing population.

Today, we don’t have to sleep empty stomach because of Green revolution.

If Green revolution’s negative impact on environment makes it a failed experiment, then it must be noted that Green revolution’s immediate goal was the alleviation of hunger. A goal which it managed quite effectively.

If the Union cabinet minister sees Panchagavya, the solution for future food security in India; then she must encourage the Government to adopt it. Readers, who see it as one, can also adopt it.

But there is only one simple request to her: She must not write-off effective programmes of the past that easily. The programmes, such as Green revolution, were well-thought out; well-planned and well-executed keeping in mind the Nation’s immediate needs then (60 years ago). They achieved their goals. And that’s it.

If country’s needs have changed in 2018, then the country can simply move on to the solutions which it thinks address today’s problems. There’s no use writing-off every past initiative. Many of which saw stellar success.

To conclude, it is easy to look back at past and criticize past actions. Especially those which were initiated half a century ago. India of 1960s, 70s, 80s was not that affluent as it is today. The country was struggling to feed its people. It is very easy to criticize it today with our stomachs full. Try imagining India of 1960s — a newly independent country marred by hunger, poverty and poor infrastructure. In 2018, we are surely not a country known for its hungry people. That is why some of us find time to create issues, where there are none. As they say, “Bhukhe pet bhajan nahin hota” (There is no fun when the stomach is empty). Today most of us are surely not marred by hunger.

So there is no use looking at past and criticize past actions. It is better to look at the present and solve the problems at hand.